Monday, 16 April 2012

Complaints about priority, and police dogs vs. bikes

After last week's blog post including a video from local TV which illustrated the efforts taken to ensure that the cycle-paths of Drenthe are well maintained, here's another view. There are protests about the plans to renew a particular junction, which is now showing its age.

The introduction to the video says "Drenthe is a real cycling province. Cycle-paths go everywhere, and when the weather's fine it's extremely pleasant to ride around the countryside. However, according to work-group Kop van Drenthe, there is still more to be done to make cycle-paths better".

At the moment, cyclists have priority over motorists across one road at this old junction, but if the plans of the local government are implemented, cyclists will lose this advantage. The protesters have been invited to have a meeting with the local government so that an agreeable compromise can be reached:



One of the reasons why the infrastructure continues to improve in the Netherlands is that people continue to complain about what they have and continue to strive to make it better. There is no complacency and no celebration of having "finished" anything. To stop making improvements would mean starting to slide backwards. Therefore, progress is continual.

This is the junction which is the subject of the video. Street-view shows the North-South cycle-path on the west side as having been dug up. This happened two years ago when this cycle-path was (massively) improved in quality. The cycle-path on the east of this road (South-North) will be improved with the work on the junction:


Grotere kaart weergeven


I thought readers might also enjoy this video, which is coverage of a competition for police dogs. At 25 seconds in you'll see how police dogs are trained to handle those who try to flee from the police by bicycle:



In another example of a protest, last year, I wrote about complaints in Groningen which helped to prevent that city from winning the "cycle city of the year" competition.

8 comments:

Matt said...

Note the wheel discs on the dog training bike to stop that very special yelp you hear when a dog's nose / paw gets caught in the spokes...

Koen said...

Matt: just the other week I nearly had just such an incident. Unfortunately some dogs misinterpret my fear of hurting them for fear of their teeth and proceed with barking and attacking even more boldly. Perhaps next time I'll get closer. But wait- I remember bending my new bike once on my 13th birthday over two fighting dogs, on my first ride, showing off to my granddad... Dogs clearly not always listen to the ring of the bike bell!

Slow Factory said...

Against dogs used in police work. Clever Dutch should make robots for this.

But most interesting for me was listening to how the local accent was SO very different from what you hear in North Holland or further south. Was like 1/3 or half the way towards German.

Martin said...

Ah to have cycle paths cleaned regularly. Every time the grassed is mowed here cuttings strew across the paths until the wind and rain washes them away.
To get priority wouldn't that be a luxury, too dangerous to consider that here in Aus.

Frits B said...

@Slow Factory: re accent, both interviewer and interviewee don't even speak the regional dialect, just standard Dutch. If they did you might find it even more understandable (it's called Nedersaksisch, or Lower Saxonian, which is more or less spoken from the line Groningen-Arnhem across Germany to Brandenburg; south of Arnhem begins the Rhineland dialect family which is entirely different).

Slow Factory said...

@Frits, okay... thanks. It sounds different to what it seems I usually hear which must be those Arnhem and more southern accents...

Slow Factory said...

But also the people watching the show look like rednecks.

Frits B said...

"But also the people watching the show look like rednecks."
Ha, you mean ordinary hard-working respectable folk :-). Those are the usual Saxon 'taterheads. Also widely seen in Ostfriesland and further East.