It's nearly two years since my last roundup of videos showing how road works don't inhibit cycling in the Netherlands, and here are two more videos showing different examples of the same thing.
The principle remains the same: It is extremely important that cycle routes not only are kept open, but also retain a high degree of subjective safety, when there are road works. If this is not done then there is a good chance that people will be put off cycling, and if they are put off then they may never return to cycling.
a bicycle road which we've covered several times before). Even though this is a secondary route, and the detour to the primary route is short, this route has also been kept open for cyclists for the duration of the works, at the expense of drivers:
We saw the second example on our holiday last week. This is not in Assen, but in Apeldoorn, a town about 120 km south of here. In this case, a large junction was being reconstructed and the road surface had been completely removed. Drivers travelling in this direction have a long detour while the works take place. However, while there is necessarily a slight detour for cyclists due to the works, it's been kept to the shortest distance possible while preserving safe crossing points away from the works themselves. The reconstruction will include improvements to the cycling infrastructure, but for now it is necessary to cross the road and ride on temporary surfaces:
Cycling is inherently quite fragile. If it seems unsafe then people are less likely to take part.
If routes to school don't seem safe then parents won't let their children cycle to school (something which almost all Dutch children do). If older people are expected to develop extra strength to deal with riding in unpleasant conditions, then they also would be scared away.
This is why it is necessary to go to some lengths to keep cycling as an attractive and preferable alternative to driving or taking public transport even when works are necessary on cycle-paths or roads.
Only if cycling retains attractiveness and convenience for all can everyone continue to cycle. It is necessary for cycling to have this wide appeal in order to have a modal share which is greater than anywhere else in the world.
Countries with an ambition to grow their cycling modal share need to understand the importance of this. Cycling infrastructure needs to be seamless and simple to use for all ages and abilities, and cycling needs to be supported everywhere, not just where it is easy to do so. Only that way does cycling become a choice for the majority. Unless this is the case, cycling remains a minority pursuit.
See also see the previous installment of Road Works vs. the Dutch Cyclist, which included four other videos like these.
The second video in this post shows a small part of a 130 km journey home that we made together by bike last Sunday. As is usual when cycling in the Netherlands, this distance was covered mostly on cycle-paths but also on some stretches of roads with little traffic. Apart from cobbled surfaces through a few villages, leading in one case to another redirection. Not once on our journey did we experience off-putting conditions for cycling, and nor did we expect to find such conditions. Comprehensive infrastructure works not only for short journeys, but also for longer journeys.
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