Here are aerial shots of all the roundabouts in Assen, all of which include cycle facilities. The images are taken from Google Maps. If you're interested, you can look for them, with their context, yourself.
|Roundabout on ring road. The underpass from South West to North East, nearly as wide as a road, provides direct cycle access to the city centre without having to stop (previously seen here). The cycle path is four metres wide, and next to it (barely visible in the picture) is a two metre pedestrian path. The North-South road is the ring road around Assen. Cyclists are not permitted to use any of the roads in the picture, so not having access to them is not a problem. Going through the underpass is in any case quicker than going around the roundabout. See what the experience is like for cyclists at this roundabout in this video.|
|North of the city, this roundabout connects the motorway junction with the direct road North. High quality cycle paths go in all directions except onto the motorway. The paths heading North are unbroken for 5.5 km to and through the next village. They have an especially smooth concrete surface which has priority over all side roads and are well separated from the road to and through the next village. At this point there is no pedestrian path as there is little pedestrian traffic. The few people who make this longer walk use the cycle-path.|
|In a new and as yet undeveloped industrial area, the cycle (red) and pedestrian (grey) paths don't provide access to the road to the North East - towards the motorway junction.|
|Near an industrial area at a ring road crossing. Cycle paths provide for all directions except along the ring road which is closed to cars (there are other routes for bikes).|
|The ring road is intersected by direct cycle route to the centre of the city from outlying villages.|
|Busy road to the East within a residential area. Cycle paths go in all directions around this roundabout, merging with 30 km/h roads to the North and South.|
|Industrial area. Cycle path approaches from the North, access road continues safe access to the South. To the East is a motorway junction. No cycle access there.|
|A junction on the ring road by which cars bypass the older direct route to Assen. No need for bikes to use the road West to East here as this is merely a bypass of the older and more direct route a little further North which remains open to bikes but is no longer usable by car. This roundabout has an extra lane which allows drivers to go from west to east without giving them the option to turn left. This combined with the requirement that cyclists cross two lanes at once makes it more difficult for cyclists to use safely. Happily it is not quite so bad as a turbo roundabout, and it is in any case not a heavily used junction by bike.|
|Junction inside residential area. Note that large "30 km/h" signs on the residential streets s are visible, as are cycle paths in all directions. 30 km/h roads sometimes have separate cycle paths.|
|On the western edge of Assen, motorists are now directed to the south instead of continuing along the canal. The old direct route into the city alongside the canal remains a through road by bike but not by car.|
|In a new housing development, cyclists mostly travel South to North-West or North-East. An extra access is provided for people who live on the West.|
|An asymmetrical arrangement. The main route is North to East, so the cycle paths are not the same on the west wide.|
|In a new residential area, the road to the south west has a 30 km/h speed limit and is relatively lightly used.|
|Residential area, cyclists can more easily access homes than motorists can.|
|A direct route to the new suburb on the west of Assen is provided here. The road to the North East is access to a natural gas extraction facility and does not need cycle access.|
|This area to the West is as yet mostly undeveloped. However, the roundabout has been built in preparation for cycle traffic which may appear in the future|
|Where the ring road passes close to a residential area and a route out of the city to the North West, a cycle path provides for the only direction that cyclists need to go in this location.|
|Between residential areas on the West and the centre of the city, this roundabout provides easy access for cyclists (See this roundabout from the point of view of a cyclist in a previous blog post)|
|This is a small "roundabout" in a residential area. All streets have a 30 km/h speed limit, and are arranged so as not to be through roads for drivers. However, it's not equivalent to the others. These roads are not for through-traffic. This is an example of segregation of modes without cyclepaths. The same rules do not apply. Take a look on streetview.|
To design a Dutch inspired roundabout adopting only the geometry but without cycle paths, as I've seen proposed in the UK, is to very fundamentally miss the point. This is just one of many ways in which what has been achieved in the Netherlands has been misinterpreted elsewhere.
For cycling provision to be able to influence peoples journey choices and encourage a high modal share for cycling, it must be universal and consistent. This way you get adequate subjective safety so that people will cycle. It is never too late to start building such a network, and it won't take as long you think.
In Assen, cyclists do not have priority where cycle-paths cross roads approaching roundabouts. This has been shown to be slightly safer than the design used in some other parts of the Netherlands where cycle-paths have priority over the road crossing. Whether or not to give cyclists priority has long been a contentious subject because of this balance between safety and convenience. However, overall safety is good at both designs of Dutch roundabouts.
Since this blog post was written, Assen has built one new roundabout in a residential area which is very similar to the tenth example above complete with similar cycling infrastructure and begun construction of two turbo-roundabouts. Turbo roundabouts are a special kind of roundabout designed to deal with high volume of motor vehicles. They are not intended to be used by cyclists. Assen's two new turbo roundabouts are being built to cater for a new motorway junction well away from any cycle routes. They are not easy even to approach by bike.