Mark Wagenbuur has made a great new video showing how a street in Utrecht, the Amsterdamsestraatweg, has evolved over 200 years.
Mark says "Good cycling infrastructure is also possible in old streets. This street in Utrecht (Netherlands) was designed by Napoleon when the Netherlands were part of the French Empire in 1812. It was part of the "Route Impériale no. 2" which connected Paris via paved direct roads with Amsterdam. The street design was changed several times in 200 years. It got the separate cycle paths that exist today around the year 2000."
While the video focusses on just one road so that the story can be told, it's important to point out that similar things have been done right across the nation in hundreds if not thousands of different locations across the Netherlands.
This is also a video showing a bit more of the same street. It carries on from where the other video left off, and includes some of the older infrastructure including on road cycle lane and junctions with no real priority for cyclists.
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The less positive stuff What not to do if you want a cycling "revolution" - Long list of interventions and policies which are not helpful. Copy the best examples from the Netherlands - a short list summarising the above. Important to copy the best examples, not just anything "Dutch". Bear in mind that the Netherlands is not perfect. Shared Space - this much hyped idea simply does not work well. It disenfranchises the vulnerable and claims of safety are exaggerated. Don't confuse the concept with far more successful nearly car free streets. Shared Use Paths designed to be used by pedestrians and cyclists together. These rarely work well because the two user groups are too different and it leads to conflicts. They are not built in the Netherlands (but cycle access to pedestrianized zones is good). Strict (or presumed) liability - If you think this is an important part of why people cycle in the Netherlands then it is probably not what you think it is. Helmets - one of several ways of scaremongering about the supposed dangers of what is actually a very safe means of transport
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A cyclist in a cycling family living in the capital of the cycling province of the world's greatest cycling country.
I was born in the UK, lived for over 8 years in New Zealand and have lived in the Netherlands since 2007.
I organise cycling infrastructure study tours, run an online bicycle shop, arrange cycling holidays and write a popular blog about cycling.
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