Direct Cycle Routes in the Netherlands
A cyclist in the Netherlands can usually follow a more direct route through cities than motorized traffic can. This so-called ‘unravelling’ of modes is one more reason that makes cycling more attractive. In cities and neighborhoods built after the 1980s this is how the flow of traffic for bicycles and cars was designed. But in many older cities cyclists also have that advantage. How this was achieved is shown in this video.
Full text of the video
Separated and protected cycle paths are one reason for more people cycling.
But cyclists in the Netherlands can usually take a more direct route than motorized traffic.
And it has been that way in new urban development areas since the 1980s.
Houten is such a modern town.
A cyclist going from A to B can ride in an almost straight line.
This distance would be 2 point 3 kilometers taking about 9 minutes.
A private motorized vehicle would be forced to go around residential areas
and has to take a much longer route.
4 point 3 kilometers, taking about 10 minutes.
But Houten was designed that way.
Utrecht was founded by the Romans and its street plan developed in the middle ages.
How would it be in cities like that?
The cyclist can still take a very direct route.
1 point 8 kilometers taking about 8 minutes.
A motorized vehicle going between the same points would have to drive a much longer route.
4 point 4 kilometers taking about 9 minutes.
So even in old cities the cyclist has the advantage.
How was this achieved?
The Dutch changed their cities considerably in the last 20 years.
Where now only cycling and public transportation is allowed,
the street used to be a 4 lane main artery.
Nowadays no private vehicle may drive here anymore.
In addition: one way streets for motorized traffic make through traffic also more difficult.
This does not apply to cyclists.
Cul-de-sacs create neighborhoods that have only very limited access.
The barriers for motorized traffic were deliberately placed to create such limited access areas.
Cyclists can always pass these barriers.
Counter flow lanes for cyclists only,
create an even bigger imbalance between the two modes of traffic.
In favor of the cyclists. For them cities are far more accessible.
Once you start looking for them, the divisions are everywhere.
No through streets for motorized traffic can be main routes for cyclists.
A main through route for cyclists, but a one way street for motorized traffic.
Sometimes residents have the key
to unlock the posts that keep unwanted cars out.
Separation of modes even without separate cycle paths.
One more reason for so much cycling in the Netherlands.
Still from the video. The route for cars (in red) is longer, both in time and distance, when compared to the route for cycling (in green).