When new roads are built in the Netherlands, the old road is often retained to function as a through route for bicycles. Maps from the 1940s show this as a direct through route for all traffic. A new ring road was built as a bypass of the city in the 1960s as this area was developed and the old main road was no longer required to operate as a through route. Over time, the older road became more fragmented and less useful to drivers, but it has retained its original purpose as a through route by bicycle. This video and blog post show what the old main-road now looks like.
|The resulting route for bikes is only part cycle-path, but it is|
almost completely car free because it is not a through route
by motor vehicle. A bollard which prevents drivers from using
this path has been removed for winter.
It is not permitted to cycle on the ring road. However, there is also no reason why you would want to. There are a far wider range of routes available by bicycle. Using the bicycle routes avoids almost all traffic light junctions and allows shorter distances to be travelled to get to the same destination and therefore they lead to shorter journey times than would be possible if we cycled on the roads which are for cars.
The noise barriers were installed in 2007 when the ring road was widened to cope with increased traffic due to further expansion of Assen and this separated the old main road from the new ring-road.
cycle-paths, because otherwise cyclists would be shunted onto inefficient indirect routes in order to maintain safety. It is important that cycle-routes are always direct and preferably that they avoid delays such as at traffic lights.
Some of the many places where you can cross the ring road efficiently by bike are shown in other blog posts (1, 2, 3, 4).
There are other examples on the blog of how segregation can be achieved without building cycle-paths, and how unravelling of modes makes conditions better for cycling.
Related, Schrödinger's Cat wrote an interesting post this week about directness of routes alongside main roads.
Ik heb een pakket gekregen dit week van Bert. Geen contactgegevens. Hartelijk dank voor je gedachten, de brief en CD's, Helaas kan ik geen gebruik maken van de muziek in mijn youtube filmpjes vanwege auteursrechten.