Wednesday, 2 December 2009
While other places talk about the possibility of "cycling superhighways", they already exist here in the Netherlands. This route was the model of a "fietssnelweg" or "cycling highway" in the Netherlands. It provides a direct route for cyclists over a town to town distance, and has increased the use of bikes on a popular commuting route.
Mark puts it as follows: "This cycle route in the South of the Netherlands was created in 2003/2004 as a model route for a fast and safe cycle route between cities and towns. The example route goes from the city of Breda to the town of Etten-Leur. It is over 7 kilometers (about 4.5 miles) long with the right of way for cyclists on every junction but one, where traffic lights were placed. The entire route is at least 3.5 meters wide and surfaced with smooth asphalt. The provincial government financed this so-called cycle highway for 80%, the rest was paid for by the city of Breda. Costs were about half a million euros per kilometer. This project was to be an example of how well designed cycle infrastructure can increase cycle use between towns and cities.
In 2009 the city of Breda stated the route is a succes. After an investigation showed 1,300 cyclists use the route every day.
To emphasize the special status of this cycle highway three shelters were placed along side of it. Finally an observation tower (18m or about 60 ft tall) near a motorway and the highspeed railway Amsterdam-Paris draws extra attention to this route."
Also, the Fietsberaad have an article about this route.
Just to prove that we're not hiding anything in the edits, Mark also has a sped up video showing the entire route.
Some places think that merely putting a bit of blue paint on narrow on road cycle lanes constitutes a superhighway for bikes. If you want to see how to do it properly, you need to look to the Netherlands for inspiration.