all about bicycling in the Netherlands
Two weeks ago I showed you that major roads do not have to be major barriers for cyclists by giving you an example of a big junction in Utrecht. But big roads are everywhere of course. They make it possible to divert most motorized through traffic around cities. At least that is how they are increasingly used in the Netherlands. ‘s-Hertogenbosch is an example I would like to show you today.
‘s-Hertogenbosch is passed by two major motorways. The main North-South route in the Netherlands is the A2 from Amsterdam to Maastricht, originally it ran right through the city but the diversion around the city was finished from 1968 to 1970. The A59 runs East-West and the part around ‘s-Hertogenbosch was finished in 1970. These two motorways are connected South of the city by a connecting road (Randweg ‘s-Hertogenbosch) that was also started in the 1970s but only completely opened in March 2011.
These roads could have formed a major barrier for cyclists wanting to go in and out of the city, or – as is the case in the North and North-East – from one part of the city to the other. But that is not how it is.
There are 25 places where you can safely cross these roads by bicycle. In the video I show them all:
One of the underpasses is still under construction but expected to open in 2012. Another of the underpasses is actually a set of three underpasses. Two under the motorway entrances and exits and one under the actual motorway. Almost all the crossings are different. So you could actually say there are 25 ways to cross a major road. And that is just for the roads around the city. There are more crossings possible on the city’s territory where the A2 goes to the North and also where the A59 goes to the East. But it went a bit too far to include those crossings as well. I think this video already makes perfectly clear that cycling is never an after thought in road and junction design in the Netherlands and it hasn’t been for at least 40 years.
25 Ways to cross a major road