View larger map
The image above is from a cycle path which I use for a good part of my commute. I've written before about how this path is great for commuting at a decent pace, and shown how this cycle path has priority over side roads. The cycle paths here are 2.5 m ( 8 feet ) wide, that's the minimum allowed for a unidirectional cycle path. Such paths should also be separated from the road by a minimum of 1.5 m (just short of five feet), however, in this case, the separation is actually about 4.5 m ( 14 and a half feet ).
Back in Britain there is currently a campaign called "3 feet please", which is asking merely for motorists to give cyclists 3 feet ( 0.9 m ) of clearance as they pass cyclists. The campaigners behind this correctly notice that "Fear of traffic" (i.e. a lack of Subjective Safety) prevents people from cycling in Britain, but their suggested fix is woefully inadequate.
"3 feet please" didn't originate in Britain. It is actually an idea that the British have imported from the USA. The problem is that while this passing distance requirement is law in some American states, the cycling rate in the USA is just as low as it is in the UK. Britain copying America or America copying Britain is never going to result in a high rate of cycling (and you can add any of the other English speaking countries to this. Australia, New Zealand etc. They all have about the lowest rate of cycling it is possible to have).
It's no good looking to where people don't cycle to find ways to encourage people. You need to look to where people cycle a lot. The Netherlands leads the world by a wide margin. 3 feet is not enough. Complete segregation of cyclists from motorists is what is actually required to make the masses feel that cycling is safe. It's also required to make cycling efficient and safe.
If you like this blog please support us so that it can continue. We're are not supported by grants and we do not ask for charity. We sell quality bicycle components and organize cycling holidays:
The next open study tour is in August 2013. Book a place in order to experience for yourself how policy and infrastructure in Assen and Groningen have led to the high cycling modal share in this area.:
This blog is free of charge to read and for most individual usage including reasonable "quoting" of its contents. However, neither the text nor the photos on this blog are in the public domain. To find out more, please read our copyright and licensing information.
Experience for yourself how policy and infrastructure in Assen and Groningen have led to the high cycling modal share in this area:
If you like this blog please support us so we can continue. We sell quality bicycle components and organize cycling holidays:
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 email@example.com