Like so many things, this doesn't have to be the case.
The kerb shown here is one of many "forgiving" angled kerbs in use in Assen. These kerbs make it possible to cross from the cycle path to the pedestrian path without falling from your bike. They reduce the risk of injury due to a lapse of concentration.
Note that the rise is very small. Only a few cm. When taller angled kerbs are constructed, these do not enable safely mounting the pavement. Also note that the angle is important. If the kerbs are much steeper than 30 degrees then it becomes difficult to ride up the kerb without the tyres sliding sideways. This of course becomes a greater problem when there is rain or ice.
The video demonstrates how you can ride up and down the kerb without losing control of your bike.
Explanatory captions are visible only when this video is played on a computer and not on a mobile device.
|These kerbs make it possible to take a bicycle onto the pavement when there is a lack of space, such as here during a cycle racing event (the road is being used for the race, the cyclists on the cycle-path are going slowly). Note that on the road side of the cycle-path there is no forgiving kerb. It would not help cyclists on this side.|
|In the city centre, cyclists can easily access cycle-parking facilities because of the kerb design.|
|Finally, an example which doesn't work. This is too high and a little too steep. It's not possible to ride up this kerb. It's a good example of drain treatment, though.|
Since this article was written, many other places have attempted to adopt forgiving kerbs. However, implementations elsewhere have often been of the "lost in translation" variety, with such mistakes as the sloped kerb being used to facilitate drivers using the cycle-path rather than to allow cyclists to use the pedestrian path. This photo hopefully will serve to remind people of how forgiving kerbs should be implemented:
|This is the same cycle-path as shown towards the end of the 2008 video.|