Thursday, 10 December 2009

Bus and bike access only. Don't bring your car.

Bus road on the left, cycle-path on the right. The sign warns drivers not to bother trying to go past this point
The new housing area of Kloosterveen on the edge of Assen has not yet been completed, however most of the transport infrastructure is in place. This photo shows the route from the western edge of the development into the countryside. It is for cyclists and bus passengers only. The cycle path is on the right in this photo and the bus lane (one bus in width, but for bidirectional use) is on the left. Note that while the bus road is not heavily used - there are only buses every few minutes - cyclists are not expected to share space with the buses. This would lead to conflict between cyclists and bus drivers, and a reduction in subjective safety for cyclists.

The sign makes it quite obvious what will happen to a normal car being driven over this obstacle, as does a close look at the second photo.

There are more routes out of the city by bike than by car, which is part of what makes cycling such an attractive option.



This is the cycle path you eventually end up on if you follow the route from the city centre to the new housing estate and keep on riding out the other side.

Earlier I featured another example of a bus road next to a cycle path, and posted about the lack of fears that cyclists have about buses in an environment where cyclists and buses only very rarely mix. There are also other integrated transport posts which might also be of interest.

9 comments:

Sue 'sans' helmet said...

I think I'm going to move back to the Netherlands!! (originally there as a baby for 2 years)

You guys are light years ahead of us - our media has become very aggressive of late, buying into the politicians' and bicycle organisations' view that cycling is extremely dangerous and therefore the Australian nation must be even more careful than we already are, and must really think carefully before taking our lives into our hands when we get on bicycles. It makes my blood boil!!!!!

David Hembrow said...

Sue: Mahatma Gandhi apparently said "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

Mind you, it can take a long time between these stages.

Sue 'sans' helmet said...

Thanks, David, I'll bear that in mind!!!! Love your blog - it is so informative

cloudsofviolet said...

this is great! but what would happen to the buses if 2 of the going the opposite directions met at one point? how would they pass each other without using the bike path?

David Hembrow said...

cloudsofviolet: You raise a very interesting point.

Unfortunately I don't know the answer.

It would be unheard of for such a thing to be planned for buses to use the cycle path. And in fact, the rough surface between the cycle path and bus path, occasional posts and rocks in the way would make it very difficult for a bus to use it.

Perhaps it is the case that this is a single direction bus path, or that the schedules are arranged such that a clash ought not to happen, or that there is a wider section where the buses wait. I'm afraid I've just not stood there long enough to see what happens.

spag said...

I have also photographed a couple of these bus traps, or better car traps (here), but to be honest, I never totally understood the point.

Now would Dutch drivers obey a "bus only" sign itself or not? If yes, well no point for the trap (such as e.g. in Germany). If not, then, what really happens if a car really gets trapped? bus traffic blocked!

Wouldn't a tiny camera be more useful, sending some checks to the car owners? Would it really be more expensive?

Cyclo said...

These Dutch bus gates are so simple. They're direct, don't need any electricity, and there's no threat to privacy that cameras can pose. I understand there's even a tray to collect oil from broken sumps, to send for recycling. We have a bus gate and camera up the road to us in Essex, UK, and drivers resent it like mad: many try to sneak through hoping that there's no film in the camera. I don't know how many get fined: it's not advertised anywhere.

spag said...

@Cyclo yeah I kinda agree, privacy is also a regular topic in NL concerning the OV Chipkaart (like the Oyster card, but eventually for the whole country) and the proposed driving tax based on gps transmitters, and this certainly is an advantage.

My only concern was if a stuck car disturbs bus traffic, where there is only one lane. but often there are two lanes and two traps and then the bus can just use the other side while passengers are laughing at the car :)

Anonymous said...

In britain we have these insted: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCSsope5vOA