Monday, 3 September 2012

Van blocking the cycle-path

Van "blocking" a four metre wide cycle-path. Note that
pedestrians have their own 2 m wide path. The widths of
both paths remain the same through the underpass
Just like anywhere else in the world, maintenance vehicles in The Netherlands sometimes stop on cycle-paths.

I took this photo on the way to the shops a few days ago (the same route as in this video).

Of course it is a bit of an irritation when vehicles like this stop on the cycle-path. However, usually they pull off the cycle-path, and when they have no choice but to block it, they only block half of it. As vehicles like this are usually there for a good reason and really not much of an obstruction is caused, few people would complain.

Just 200 m away, a van "blocking" a residential street.
Pedestrians have paths on both sides of this street. Service
vehicles cause the same degree of obstruction on the road
as on the cycle-path because both are of similar width
Of course, it's not just cycle-paths that occasionally have maintenance vans parked on them.  Maintenance is also needed on roads and streets. Just around the corner from the first example, I spotted the example to the right.

Again it's not really causing much of a problem because it's only blocking half of the street. The same situation, the same level of inconvenience.

Equal obstacle opportunities for roads and bike-paths !

Of course, the problems caused by maintenance vehicles on cycle-paths would be much greater if there were not so much room. This is an advantage of having sensible widths for cycle-paths.

The cycle-path in the photo at the top is not special. It's simply part of a normal, everyday route. Standards need to be high everywhere so that conditions are good wherever someone chooses to cycle. It's no good if high standards are reserved only for a few special pieces of infrastructure. Read more about the need for a tight grid of high quality cycling facilities.

Note that when there are ongoing road works which cause real disruption, Dutch cyclists are not forgotten.

2 comments:

Matt Nicholas said...

Interesting that you should post this. I was having a run of bad luck last week in Rotterdam, trying to follow the Fietssnelweg from Overschie to Delft but it didn't appear to be fully signed yet. A van had parked across the entire width of the cycle path outside the shops on Abtsweg, though when I came back a few minutes later to try a different route to the snelweg it had moved over a bit.

Theo said...

A couple of weeks ago my cycle path to The Hague was blocked in Voorburg because of repairs in a side street. Amazing enough they placed a sign that you had to use the road instead. Not very safe considering this route is popular by schoolchildren.
Next day they had made a special corridor so that you no longer were forced to go on the road. Apparently someone (Fietsersbond?) alerted the municipal of Voorburg about this "mistake".