Friday, 19 December 2008
Assen has quite a few one way streets. These are used to stop roads from being through routes for cars, and work to prevent rat-running in residential streets and keep the centre of the city empty of motor vehicles.
However, there isn't a single one which doesn't allow cyclists to travel in the opposite direction.
They all appear in areas where there is relatively little traffic and the speed limit is always 30 km/h ( 18 mph ).
Signage to allow this is as simple as an "Uitgezonderd Fietsers" ("Except Cyclists" - sometimes using a picture of a bike) beneath the one way or no entry sign. It works very well, and allows cyclists to make those shorter and more convenient journeys which have to be possible in order that cycling has an advantage over driving.
Back in Cambridge where we used to live, a debate still rages about allowing cycling in the opposite direction on one-way streets. It really is time that the UK in general got to grips with the benefits of cycling and started to encourage it. However, note that what does not happen here is relaxation of one-way restrictions on busy streets. These one-way restrictions are used to make the roads un-useful for through traffic and relatively empty of motor vehicles while allowing cyclists still to make direct journeys using the entire road network.
There are many examples of infrastructure which make journeys shorter and more convenient by bicycle.
The pictures shown were all taken within 300 metres of each other, but there are many examples in other parts of the city. To see the way this city makes cycling a preferred means of travel for most people, consider coming on one of our Study Tours in 2009.