Planning disaster in the making
2 hours ago
|The remaining car lanes are narrower than the cycle lanes.|
|The street (in black with arrow) is just a tiny fragment of the city's main cycling network.|
|Swinging bridge in small fishing village. Note that there is just one lane for cars. Drivers have to negotiate passage over the bridge, while leaving the cycle part of the bridge for cyclists.|
This formed part of the cycle path which led from our campsite to the village.
|Home-made sign outside another village telling the drivers the names of all the children who play on the streets which they are about to drive through.|
|We took a ferry to Schiermonnikoog, a small island (half the size of Guernsey) just North of the mainland. It's really a holiday island, accessible only by boat. It's almost completely car free - tourists are not allowed to take cars to the island. The main means of transport is the bicycle. This is a queue for the cycle hire at the ferry terminal on the island. The ferry takes a maximum of a thousand people at a time, and almost all of them join this queue for hire bikes.|
|The only obvious "cycle path" on Schiermonnikoog leads from the ferry terminal to the island itself. To the left of this path is a road used by service vehicles (for deliveries etc.) which do drive around the island, as well as the bus service between the ferry and the hotels in the village.|
This cycle path is needed because there are a small number of commercial vehicles which come off the ferry and a couple of buses which take passengers to the village and directly to hotels. In our day on the island we saw just one private car in use. Therefore, apart from here, riding even on the "main road" is usually a car free experience. In other places other techniques are used to empty rural roads of cars.
|Many small children rode their own bikes around the island.|
|More tourists enjoying cycling on the island.|
|Cycle parking near one of the coastal cafes on the island|
|Back on the mainland... One day, the boyfriend of my eldest daughter came to visit. He brought his bike by train and we met him from the nearest railway station, in a village 12 km away. Like all Dutch train stations, this one has a lot of cycle parking even though it serves a village of just 2800 people. There are enough spaces for one in every eleven residents to park a bike at the station (I also made a video). We've covered railway station parking many times before.|
|The journey between the railway station and our campsite was made entirely on rural cyclepaths like this one, which connect the entire country together, and maintain a level of subjective safety which makes cycling accessible to all.|
|This street in Google StreetView|
|Before: cycle path ends in shared service street|
|After: cycle path continues as bicycle street where cyclists have priority and cars are guests|
|All new cables and pipes for natural gas, electricity, water, telephone, television and data.|
|All the sewer pipes were also renewed.|
|My 11 year old daughter setting off|
on the end of primary school cycle
camping trip. This is not something
done by progressive schools in
"cycling cities" but normal for
almost all Dutch schools.
|The same daughter took this|
photo last week on another
school trip. A good illustration
of the subjective safety which
makes this possible.
|Don't get the wrong idea. I like this.|
|"Step 1. Remove the wheel from the|
bicycle" - not if you ride the type
of bike that most people in an
established bike culture ride.
|Tradional Dutch style pumps by the door of|
the cafe in Appelscha. Forgotten sign of a
real cycling culture.
|On the way home we saw this man with an implausible large object on his bike.|