Welcome to the every day reality of cycling in the Netherlands.
The above scene is from a new video of the Netherlands' first cycle 'superhighway'. It's been almost two years since David showed you my videos of this "fietssnelweg" (fast cycle route) from Breda to Etten-Leur that was built in 2003 and finished in 2004.
More fast cycle routes were built since this first one. I will try and visit some of them and make a series of videos to show you what the Dutch themselves consider state of the art cycling infrastructure. But a series wouldn't be complete without the first actual route so I revisited it.
|The -upright- cyclist icon at a junction |
in the Breda - Etten-Leur cycle highway.
- The route is over 7 kilometers or 4.5 miles long, from the center of Breda to the edge of Etten-Leur.
- Cyclists have priority on all junctions but one that is traffic light controlled.
- Costs in 2003: one million guilders per kilometer. Total costs amount to about 3.5 million euros.
- The route was financed by North-Brabant province (80%) and the city of Breda (20%).
- Width of the route at least 3.5 meters (11.5 ft) with a surface of smooth red asphalt.
- It has a consistent design, even for the lighting and the distance between planted trees.
- Extra features: three shelters that can be used in rain or as a meeting place to ride together
- And: one observation tower, height 18 meters or about 60ft.
This new video focuses on aspects that deserve some extra attention: the people using the route and the way the priority on the junctions works.
There is a schoolrun and people going to the supermarket in the town of Etten-Leur. And at the junctions you can very clearly see how the interaction between motorised traffic and cyclists works in the Netherlands. Perhaps interesting to see that in this country motorised traffic is not automatically at the top of the traffic hierarchy. Yes, big trucks yield to children and elderly on a bicycle. I kept the original sound. So you can hear how quiet the route is once it is completely away from motorised traffic.
This post by Mark Wagenbuur also appears on his own blog.