Explanatory captions on this video are only visible when it is viewed on a computer and not on a mobile device.
This video shows a location very near our home. Cyclists completely separated from motor traffic. It's not an aberration, but something quite common. It is possible to cycle here and barely see cars. Cars are mostly elsewhere.
The cycle routes you see in this video have few cars for several reasons. Some are cycle paths along which cars are not allowed. Others are roads open to all, but along which there is no destination for drivers, so they are not at all useful as a through road by car. No road sign will tell a driver that these small roads are route. They are directed onto the main road that you also see in the video. What's more, rat-running doesn't work here. Those roads which have been prioritised for cyclists really don't make a useful alternative for drivers.
This location looked quite different three years ago. The motivation for this transformation was to make sure that there was a direct and easy route to the city centre from a new housing estate on the western side of the city. The blue bridge carrying the cars over the cycle path was built to give cyclists a direct route without any stops and with maximum social safety.
This change was amongst those which helped the city to raise its cycling rate from around 37% to the new figure of 41% of all journeys by bike.
If you imagine going under the blue bridge in this video, you can get all the way into the city centre on the bicycle road, and the last bit looks like this
The video was shot from an artificial hill which stands where the red spot is in this photo: The photo is from Microsoft Bing Maps birds eye view. I would have embedded it if I could work out how (it's much easier with Google Maps...).
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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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Experience for yourself how policy and infrastructure in Assen and Groningen have led to the high cycling modal share in this area:
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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.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org