The Korrebrug, or Gerrit Krol-brug, is the busiest bridge for cyclists in Groningen. Over 14000 cyclists pass over this bridge every day. We took last week's study tour to see the bridge.
|While the bridge is open, the cycle and pedestrian bridges|
can be used to cross without waiting.
|There's a choice. If you don't mind waiting, there is no need|
to climb the other bridges.
|For some people, waiting is a|
This solution to a problem for cyclists is almost certainly unique in the whole world. During last week's study tour, I said this to a pair of youngsters who were unable to work out why people had come to take photos of their bridge, which they cross every day on the way to and from school, and which is utterly normal to them.
Now let's go over that again. There was an existing bridge, already mainly used by cyclists. This has been bypassed by not one, but two, extra bridges, both of which are only used by cyclists, and then only for the few minutes of each day when the main bridge is open.
And what does the world know about this ? Very little. There are lots of examples of exceptional engineering for cyclists all across the Netherlands. These things are planned and built without hype and fanfare. There are many cycle bridges in Groningen which would seem exceptional elsewhere, and that goes for all Dutch cities.
|Gerrit Krol is a locally born author. In 1998, he wrote a story "de oudste jongen" in which he revisited places where he went as a child. The opening passage of this story describes how when returning from a long cycle ride and passing the sign for "Groningen", he felt that it could just as well have read "Gerrit Krol" because he was now home. The bridge displays this passage on a plaque.|
Why this isn't so important as you might think Exceptional infrastructure like this is always interesting to see, but what causes people to cycle in large numbers is the very tight network of everyday, but high quality, cycle routes.