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.


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.

The3oLand 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".