Monday 9 April 2012

Maintaining the cycle-paths of Drenthe

Our local TV news reports that two special vehicles are being driven over the cycle-paths and minor roads of Drenthe this month. This is part of a €100000 project to map bumps, tree root damage and cracks so that they can be fixed over 3000 km of cycle-path and mostly car free roads in the province.

Two lasers mounted on the back of the car analyze the surface to assess comfort for cyclists and lead to better maintenance in future.

Drenthe wants to keep its title of "cycling province number one", and there is always more to do. Last year, €3 million was allocated for maintenance of cycle-paths. Those responsible for tourism see investment in cycle-paths as an investment in the province itself, and part of what brings a billion euros per year due to tourism.

Conditions for cycling keep on getting better in the Netherlands.

To book a holiday in the "cycling province number one" of the Netherlands, see our holidays website.

The Dutch have a saying, "Meten is weten" - measuring is knowing. i.e. Unless you measure something you don't actually know it. Measuring problems in this way is necessary not because the cycle-paths are bad, but in order to keep them to a very good standard. Cycling policy in the Netherlands relies on accurate measurements being made of all aspects of cycling (also of the numbers of bikes).


Slow Factory said...

How do they fix root damage? I would only imagine by elevating/increasing the thickness of that section. Or do the Drenthniks cast a temporary magic spell on the roots which encourages them to go deeper?

David Hembrow said...

Todd: I've never watched them do it. Given that the result usually ends up being very flat indeed, I think the tree loses a root. The cycle-paths start off quite thick, which makes them relatively impervious.

WestfieldWanderer said...

Meanwhile, back in the Dark Ages, they introduce artificial bumps as an alleged "art form".

No, even Sustrans don't really "get it", preferring to spend money on mickey mouse "art features" than maintaining path infrastructure.

But, here we are, in a country where cycle infrastructure is left for a charitable organisation to play with, so I guess we shouldn't be surprised.

Slow Factory said...

Do the trees mind losing a root, or are all Dutch trees also cyclists?

H.Edink said...

Treatment of a root depends how bad it is.
I've seen different procedures:
-Remove the asphalt what's creating the bump. The asphalt layer is thick enough. It is not permanent but for a couple of years it's a good solution.
-Remove the tree from it's location and place it a couple of meters further away.
-Remove the tree and plant a new one further away. (when the tree is in bad condition)
I expect there are more solutions, but I know these ones.

Frits B said...

Cutting the offending root may cause the tree to lose its hold, at least partially - not all trees go very deep. And as the weak spot is on the side of the road, the result would be obvious. So it depends on the species of tree what cure is used.

Kevin Love said...

Around here it is policy to not allow trees right next to the cycle paths for this very reason.

This reminds me of a joke I heard in Québec, where they like to make fun of those French in France who didn't have the sense to move to Québec.

Q: Why do the French in France plant trees on both sides of the road?

A: So that the Germans can march in the shade.