Dutch cycle paths are not completely perfect. Nor are the roads. There are over 29000 km of separate cycle paths in this country and 120000 km of roads. It would be a miracle if all of it was perfect in every detail all the time.
Mostly the problems are quite minor, and the result of older provision not having been updated, or surfaces being a bit past their best. However, very occasionally you find something which is simply bad design.
On a recent ride to visit a friend in Deventer, I came across this example. It was not on the main route, and I shouldn't have been here. I only found it after making a wrong turn into a housing estate. As you can see, I had to get out of the Mango and pick up the back end to turn through this tight corner between unnecessary barriers which had been put in the way.
I suspect this also causes problems for people who have child trailers, bakfietsen, or any other more unusual bikes.
Nowhere that you have to get off your bike and lift it can be classed as good quality infrastructure. It's precisely the sort of nonsense that is so readily and commonly criticised in the UK. Indeed, I used to criticise it myself. And there's a Dutch website which keeps a log.
However, the big difference is in the frequency with which you find such things. This is only the second such obstacle that I've found in the three years that I've lived in the Netherlands, and I had to travel 60 km and accidentally take a wrong turn through a narrow alley to find it. In Cambridge, I could find any number of such things within a very short distance from home. So many, in fact, that I stopped bothering to take photos and update the website on which I put them.
Grotere kaart weergeven
The other horrible barrier that I found is here. It's worth pointing out that the only reason I found this obstruction in Raalte is because I was seduced into going too far along a very nice cyclepath in the town. It was when I decided to change direction that I found this short path and its barrier. Raalte has plenty of other good cyclepaths which make the efficient network needed to support a high cycling rate.
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