Monday 24 November 2008

Underpass for bikes and cars together

In the East of Assen there is an underpass which dates to the 1960s which goes under the railway track and a road. There are several underpasses in the city for cyclists and pedestrians - this is the only one which accommodates cars as well.

The cycle paths are narrow by modern standards at only 2.5 m wide for a bidirectional path, but other features of this underpass are rather good.
  1. It separates cyclists from pedestrians as well as from motor vehicles.
  2. The tunnel goes deeper for motor vehicles than for cyclists because motor vehicles (e.g. trucks) can be taller than bikes. This means that cyclists don't have to go so deep and so the gradient to climb at the other side is easier.
  3. The path is bidirectional on both sides of the road, meaning that for a lot of journeys cyclists don't need to cross the road at all.
There are other posts about cycle only underpasses.


Nick said...

We have a couple of those in Eindhoven too - for which I'm very grateful, since they make it much easier for me to cycle to and from work (under the railway line and under the inner ring road).

David Hembrow said...

The ones around Eindhoven station are amongst the widest I've ever seen.

Very busy in the rush hour as I recall.

I took a couple of videos of them in 2006 which are on youtube here and here.

Anonymous said...

In this area when we do have lanes separate from roads, they call them multi-use paths. This means you share them with pedestrians, which causes another type of bicycle conflict.

I am glad planners and politicians are thinking of bicycle infrastructure and are building it. But their thinking is in it's infancy and needs to mature into bicycle only infrastructure and get away from multi-use. However, I am sure they use the multi-use idea to get it pass the non-cycling public for approval.

David Hembrow said...

Bob, paths shared with pedestrians are called "shared use paths" in the UK where used to live, and that's as good as we got.

Typically, apart from causing conflict with pedestrians such paths have inadequate junction design which can cause danger to cyclists, or simply make cycling very slow.

They really don't do it in the Netherlands. I've seen it in just one location, and it was so unusual that it had this special sign warning cyclists about it.

Anneke said...

:D In Doetinchem, where I live, the sewers are being renewed, and while they're at it they are also improving streets, or calming them where nessecary. So cyclists and pedestrians are temporarely one the same path. Cars were not allowed in, there was no space for them, but still. There was also a sign that bikes and pedestrians would have to use the same path.