Monday 29 June 2015

Study Tour round-up (June 2015 with Cambridge Cycling Campaign)

Study Tour participants from Cambridge riding on a canal-side cycle-path in Assen.
Our study tours in Assen and Groningen have been quite popular this year. The feedback section of the study tour website shows where most of the people have visited from and there are plans for more visitors. The photos below show some of what we currently demonstrate on study tours:

This photo may not appear to have much connection with cycling, but the top of this hill gives me a chance to illustrate how unraveling of cycling routes from driving routes creates excellent conditions for cycling.

While our bikes waited at the bottom of the hill, they were passed by a stream of cyclists. The intensity of this stream varies (more at rush hour) but true mass cycling means that there is almost always someone in sight on a bike, even at quiet times of the day.

Wide cycle-paths, separating people from motorized traffic as here emerging from a bicycle tunnel ,result in conditions where smiling is normal while riding a bike.

Room to spread out without getting in anyone's way.

Explaining and demonstrating how even residential streets which are very close to main roads are not affected by the noise of traffic, reducing everyone's stress and fostering good relationships between neighbours.

Cycle-parking for bus passengers and a bus-stop by-pass which is virtually invisible to cyclists. Note that the 3.8 m wide cycle-path is designed to facilitate efficient cycling and therefore does not narrow as it passes the bus-stop.

Assen city centre. Demonstrating a junction which used to have traffic lights to deal with high volumes of motorized traffic now no longer needs them because the centre no longer has through motorized traffic. See a photo of how this used to be.

The school run in Assen. Children ride their own bikes and have a great degree of freedom. Dutch children are recognized by UNICEF as having the best well-being in the world.
Indoor cycle-parking at a new primary school.
Not just pretty pictures
Pretty pictures do not make cycling normal. In order to make cycling attractive to everyone the infrastructure has to be designed such that it invites people to cycle. Cycling has to be efficient and convenient and also very safe (most importantly: very subjectively safe).

Therefore, as well as the more photogenic subjects, we also took a close look at in such things as the following:
  1. The safest roundabout design for cyclists. Design details are very important.
  2. The safest and most efficient traffic light design for cyclists as well as the quite different design used for most larger junctions.
  3. Traffic lights which default to green for cyclists
  4. Town centre from which through traffic has been removed
  5. Residential streets providing plenty of car parking spaces but on which moving cars are rare.
  6. Direct convenient and safe cycling routes to Assen city centre from suburbs, villages and even other cities.
A city which demonstrates much good practice
Everyone can reach everywhere in Assen by bicycle. Rather than being carried on parents' bicycles, even small children routinely ride to the city centre on their own bikes using the same well-designed fine grid of high quality cycle routes as everyone else uses, regardless of age or ability.

Why isn't everywhere like this ? All cities could plan in the same way. We can show you, your politicians and your planners what has been achieved and how it affects everyday life. Everyone stands to benefit from better living conditions. Even determined drivers benefit from better cycling infrastructure.

More information
More information, including video, is available on the study tour website.

Our next open tour is at the start of September. You can reserve a place on that tour now (private tours are also available).
Book a place on the next tour

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