Monday 22 November 2010

Direct cycle routes in old and new towns

Another excellent video from Mark Wagenbuur, illustrating how direct cycle routes can be accommodated in both new and old towns. Note how in some cases nothing more than bollards are required to segregate cyclists from motorists.

I've several more posts showing how cycle routes can be planned to be faster and more direct than the roads in the Netherlands. Some of the better examples are from Assen, Groningen and Houten. Making cycle routes shorter makes cycling a lot more attractive, and is a good part of the reason why the Dutch cycle more than people of any other nation.


Anonymous said...

Excellent film, thanks Mark (& David for posting it).

What really strikes me is that the travel times for cars are longer than by bicycle, for the same distance.

Here in Australia we can talk about infrastructure improvements, 'end-of-trip' facilities (communal showers usually, rather than decent parking), cycling for health/environment, law changes, etc. until we're blue in the face... The reality is that if we continue to make the motor vehicle the most convenient way to get around, especially for distances less than 10km, we will never see the bicycle mode share rise above 2%.

The bicycle has to be more convenient and perceived to be safer than driving (it already IS safer per hour of travel; we've just been conditioned to believe it is almost suicidal) for people to make the switch.


Paul Martin
Brisbane, Australia

Isla... said...

Great video - thanks again David.

Ever so slightly off-topic, but can I ask a question about your segregated tracks?

I just wondered how well they stayed clear of debris/gravel etc, compared to a roadway does away from the curb. Separate sections of track over here in the UK, where they interract with the road (as I'm sure you remember, or rather forget!) tend to soon clog with whatever the motor vehicles sweep aside. I've never read on your blog of the same problem occurring and am curious as to whether it is achieved through design, rather than having to be swept regularly.



Vittoria from Glasgow said...

Great film, thank you so much for posting it! BUT: it is painful to see this and compare...I live in the UK

Unknown said...

Very well done!

I love at 1:18 the before/after. Four lanes of traffic down to bike and bus lanes!
People whine about giving up one lane to bikes here, I could only imagine the outrage of doing something similar to that.

Micheal Blue said...

Well-produced video. Thanks for sharing. I wish Toronto would have stuff like that. What's up with those extra-long buses? It seems they can only run in a straight line; how could they negotiate streets of old European cities?
Dave, do you buses feature bike racks? In Toronto buses have a bike rack mounted in the front. It can hold three or four bikes.

David Hembrow said...

Michael: Dutch bus stops have cycle parking, but you don't ever see bike racks on buses. That would never work here.

Anonymous said...

Are any other vehicles allowed on the cycle paths, can you rollerblade, skateboard or use a motorbike or moped? If not how do they enforce it? If they are allowed are they required to wear a light or somehow make themselves visible to other cyclists?

Second how are the cycle paths funded? By that national government or by local government? Who selects routes to be billed, the local government or the national government?

I love reading your blog.
Thanks for all the wonderful information.


Mark W. said...

@Michael Blue, these buses work fine in Utrecht. Yes they mostly drive on separate bus lanes (we really do prefer to separate traffic in the Netherlands!) but they use normal streets too and they can make remarkably sharp turns.
See this video
But I agree with David: bikes could not be taken on any public transport here. There are just too many cyclists for that! Just look at the posts regarding parking at railway stations and it becomes clear.

Neil said...

Those long buses are bendy buses, with 2 joints that allow it to turn tighter. The 2 carriage (1 joint) version is used in London, though I think Boris wants to get rid of them (or might have done already).

Cycle_girl said...

HI David, having just been for a cycle trip around Germany, Holland and Belgium, and now back in New Zealand, I really appreciate what the Dutch are doing. The terrain and weather over here don't help - but the attitudes of many car drivers makes cycling a wary adventure as opposed to the pleasant journey it was in NL.

Anonymous said...

This is, in my opinion, one of the most appealing aspects of cycling (contingent on infrastructure of course) that should be presented. Unfortunately the US largely does not understand this and continues to brand cycling as good because it's environmentally friendly, healthy and yadda yadda. I personally support sustainable initiatives but realize that most people don't have that same feeling at this time. People just want to get somewhere quickly, and as efficiently as possible. Even the people that choose the bike over the car largely do so because of the monetary savings.

Environmentalism is step C, and the US is not getting far by skipping step B, which is getting people on bikes. First provide a real good incentive for people to cycle and then I think that naturally they will begin to appreciate their surroundings more and be more supportive towards sustainable initiatives.