Friday 16 May 2014

A temporary signalled crossing for cyclists (Road works vs. the Dutch cyclist)

Where cycling is at a high level, chances can't be taken with what would happen if cyclists were redirected from safe and direct cycle-paths onto busy unpleasant roads. The result could be a catastrophic change in how people travel.

Cycling is very fragile.

If people have unpleasant experiences when cycling, they are likely to give up and make their future journeys by a different mode. This is why a comprehensive grid of very high quality infrastructure which keeps cyclists away from cars is essential to achieve the cycling potential of any area given local demographics and geography. It's also why in the absence of safe cycling infrastructure, no amount of training results in people cycling more.

The details are important. This temporary traffic island makes it possible for people to stop in the middle of the road in safety. In the video, a teenage boy starts to cross the road against a red light and benefits from this island. Note that just as at permanent crossings, cyclists are not required to stop in the middle and wait for another light. Crossing the road is always achieved in one motion.

Though this is a temporary cycle-path, the give way line is marked in an obvious way and there is a very flat transition between the road and the cycle-path. In fact, this temporary cycle-path is smoother than the service road to which it connects.

The signs, markings and signals are all familiar to anyone who is used to Dutch cycling infrastructure. There is nothing new to learn, no surprises due to anything operating in an unusual way. This consistency leads to safety.

In this instance it was not possible to construct a temporary crossing right next to the old crossing. Therefore the redirection signs had to be clear and obvious. This sign design is standard for redirections during road-works.
This is not an example of something exceptional, but of the norm. In the Netherlands it is normal that cyclists' routes are maintained when cycle-paths have to be dug up. Please read the many other examples of road works vs. the Dutch cyclist going back six years on this blog or see other examples of maintenance.

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