Sunday 7 September 2008

Fietsers Oversteken

There is a lot of resurfacing of cycle paths going on at the moment. The result of this is closed cycle paths which can be quite a nuisance. There are, of course, ways to avoid most of the problems, and luckily the result of the resurfacing is generally much improved over what went before. Here are two examples of resurfacing happening at the moment. One is part way between Groningen and Assen at Paterswolde, the other in Groningen itself.

First the cycle path shown in the photo on the left. I met this temporary "Fietsers Oversteken" (Cyclists - cross the road) sign part way back from Groningen a few days ago. This is an oldish 2.5 m wide rural bike path which is normally single direction. There's another on the other side of the road for people travelling in the same direction as we are in this photo. You can see that at this point it's being dug up in order to improve the surface.

The second photo, on the right, shows the surface on the other side of the road. This is a gloriously smooth concrete. The temporary yellow sign reads "Tegemoetkomende fietsers" - warning that because of the works having closed the cycle path on the other side of the road, cyclists using this new 3 m wide path will have to contend with it being bidirectional until the other side has been transformed in the same way.

You'll note that in the modern style, the cycle path goes through the side road uninterrupted. There are also give-way triangles for motorists. There can be no doubt here about who has priority at this junction.

I also made a video of crossing the road here.

Next we have the second example of a redirections for cyclists due to resurfacing of a cycle path. In this case, the sign says "take care - cyclists in the bus lane".

However, when you ride past this sign you find that you're not expected to ride with the buses. Buses and cyclists are generally kept apart here, and the buses have been banished to the main traffic lanes so that cyclists get the bus-lane entire for themselves. You can see it on video.

It's important to make sure that cyclists don't get put off cycling when there are road works. These efforts to preserve conditions for cyclists, even while the works are intended to improve conditions for cyclists long term, are important.

When resurfacing work like this is carried out, there is co-ordination between the local government and the water, electricity, gas and telecoms people, so that they can replace wires, pipes etc. under the path as it is being resurfaced. This prevents a brand new path from being dug up again immediately.

I've previously written about the effect of road works on cyclists, giving different examples.

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