Monday 23 August 2010

Road works vs. the Dutch cyclist

On the way home from Groningen on Friday I found that the road had been redirected onto the cycle path. Sounds alarming, but actually there was nothing to worry about. Barriers had been erected and a tarmac temporary cycle path had been built so that cycling could continue as normal.

It's quite normal for this to happen. These are some of the other videos I've made of similar things which have happened in the past, some of which have also appeared on this blog tagged with "road works vs. the dutch cyclist":

Cycle-path is dug up

In this example, the road is converted to one-way with temporary traffic lights so that cycle flow is unimpeded.

Riding in a bus lane

Here the cycle-path was being resurfaced so bikes were directed into the bus-lane. This would have created a conflict between bikes and buses had buses not been temporarily banned from their own lane. Bikes are completely incompatible in the same lane as buses and therefore they are never mixed.

Riding on a dual carriageway

Here the cycle-path is again being worked on, so one half of a dual carriageway has been taken for cyclists while motorists use just the other side. Again, it removes any potential conflict which could have occurred had cyclists been expected to use the road with cars and trucks.

Sometimes there are temporary bridges installed, both small and large.

And why does this all happen ? Well, cycling is fragile. If people have bad experiences they may stop cycling. If it is desirable to create and maintain a high rate of cycling then a good degree of subjective safety must also be maintained.


Anonymous said...

For a contrast, a picture from a German Radweg along a touristic long-distance cycleway:

Sigh, I really must take a look if the grass is so much greener in the Netherlands.

Sirius7dk said...

The only time I remember coming across roadworks on a cycle path in my Danish hometown was when a 900 meter section (between 2 junctions)in the direction of the camera was resurfaced.

(Picture of the road -,+dk+7000&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=61.452931,107.138672&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Strandvejen,+7000,+Fredericia,+Denmark&ll=55.543321,9.719488&spn=0.00137,0.00327&t=h&z=19&layer=c&cbll=55.543321,9.719488&panoid=B3dYTyB963XrlwPD67885A&cbp=12,32.62,,0,11.35 )

The road is leading into the town and to the port and other industry from the motorway and the speed limit is 70 km/h (45 mph)

Cyclists were lead out onto the road and the contractors had put a single sign up in the road warning vehicles about cyclists in the road. No protection apart from the sign was provided.

I did fear for any lorries coming past me, but none came while I was on the road.

When my friend went the same way home 1-2 hours later, there were no sign of any roadworks ever taking place apart from the new surface.

Rasmus Jensen

sheffieldcyclechic said...

And this is what they do in Sheffield!

(I was going to blog about this, but someone else beat me to it)

Colibri said...

I know someone who won't be very impressed by the overall cycling infrastructure shown on Sirius7dk's pictures :-)

J.. said...

"I know someone who won't be very impressed by the overall cycling infrastructure shown on Sirius7dk's pictures :-)"

My thoughts exactly. Would you feel safe in between the truck and the hedge? (picture below)
And what if both you and the truck are turning right at the corner at the same time? After all, you're both using the same traffic light.,+dk+7000&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=61.452931,107.138672&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Strandvejen,+7000,+Fredericia,+Denmark&t=h&layer=c&cbll=55.543074,9.719497&panoid=2YzYJIJnNBfWgNVS-6f1hg&ll=55.543099,9.719344&spn=0.000757,0.002009&z=19&cbp=12,199.36,,0,9.27

David Hembrow said...

Rasmus: Thanks for your contribution. The speed with which the work was done is commendable. It's like that here too, sometimes I'll find I'm on a new surface riding home, even though I saw no evidence of the work the day before.

Colibri and J.. are right: I'm not all that impressed with the road. I've never seen anywhere in the Netherlands which puts cyclists on a cycle lane alongside a road like that with so many lanes for motor vehicles and/or such a high speed limit. It's bad for cyclists good going straight on, but the junction design is really bad.

However... this post was supposed to be about road works.

christhebull said...

And I thought that what I saw in Munich - diverting the cycle path onto a road lane and seperating it from motor traffic with a steel barrier at road works, was fly - but I had no idea it could work the other way. I suppose a 3 metre or wider cycle path is wide enough for motor traffic...