Poor cycling infrastructure designs struggle when it comes to allowing cyclists to make turns across traffic (a left turn in continental Europe / USA) in a manner which is both convenient and safe. In some cases, designers simply don't really try and this results in such abominations as centre cycle lanes leading into advanced stop lines (bike boxes) on the ground. There are also examples of designs which are promoted quite hard but which don't really help people to cycle because they make turns inconvenient, dangerous or in some cases both inconvenient and deadly dangerous.
simultaneous green junction, however there is no one design of junction which fits all locations and other good designs are possible.
This new junction demonstrates a very good way to design for asymmetric cycle traffic. In this case, almost all cycle traffic heads head straight on across the junction and they have a nearly full time green light. Only the relatively small number of cyclists who turn left are stopped by the traffic light in the video and this introduces only a short delay until it can stop all conflicting motor traffic and remove all danger from the left turn.
featured on my blog in 2012. This already worked well, but it stopped cyclists heading straight on relatively frequently and did not allow for a left turn to be made by bicycle. The old junction was built on land and did not incorporate a bridge. The new bridge had to be built to enable re-opening a canal which was filled in decades ago and the new junction is on top of that bridge.
The Weiersbrug is one of six new bridges in Assen which began construction at the end of 2014. Five of those bridges are now complete and one remains to be built. I've been critical in the past of some aspects of the huge FlorijnAs project in Assen, but it has also brought improvements for cyclists in some locations, such as here.
|An older implementation of the same idea, with inadequate|
lane sizes and not enough space to make the turn. This was
recently removed from the area around Assen railway station.
The idea of cyclists waiting to turn left at a traffic light in this way is not in itself new. However, this new junction brings a level of refinement which makes it comfortable to use. This new junction works far better for left turning cyclists than did the an older implementation of the same idea which was recently removed from the railway station area of Assen.
This new junction opened in May on the second day of a follow-up study tour. There is new cycling infrastructure to see every year in Assen and the programme changes each year to allow for what has changed. Future study tours, such as the tenth anniversary tour in September, will feature this junction amongst other pieces of new infrastructure.
True mass cycling, inclusive of all members of society, including children, older people and those with disabilities and where everyone makes all types of journeys by bike, is only possible with the very best cycling infrastructure. Be inspired by the best, not those things which really ought to be ignored.