Hovenring at night

Infrastructure must be really special to appeal to a wide audience. The spectacular Hovenring floating bicycle roundabout is one example of such an extremely exceptional piece of infrastructure. I usually write about reallocating road space and cycle path surfaces and even though I mix it every now and then with people cycling, I understand this blog is for a niche audience. But the first post about the Hovenring was picked up by blogs and sites all over the internet, because it is incredibly beautiful to many more people.

The Eindhoven Hovenring floating roundabout at night.

I meant to show you the ring at night, because I knew it is spectacularly lit, but I don’t get to Eindhoven at night very often and I postponed the night visit time after time. So when Dave Warnock wrote on Twitter that he would be visiting the Hovenring one night, or rather an hour later, I only needed two minutes to grab the camera and leave the house. I knew it would be dark soon after and I’d be able to finally film the Hovenring lights.

Dave told me he was on a reconnaissance mission, investigating if the route would be safe enough for his family to use the following day. I was completely surprised that anyone would do such a thing. Because, as Dave found out too, that is absolutely unnecessary in the Netherlands. This speaks volumes about the completely different situation for cycling in the UK vs. The Netherlands. What is normal in one country, to see or do, is completely unheard of in the other and that works both ways. But since Dave’s mission was accomplished he didn’t stay until it was getting dark. A pity, because just minutes after he left the lights were turned on and already in the last light it was a spectacular sight!

Video of the Hovenring in Eindhoven by night

The video speaks for itself. I filmed it in about one hour from dusk to real darkness. The Hovenring at night is of a breathtaking beauty. However, there is an important ‘but’ that Dave explains well in his post: “Yes the Hovenring is awesome. But it only works because everything connects to it. You can get to it from any direction using routes that will feel safe and that you won’t have to plan/reconnoitre in advance.”  

For more background information and videos of the Hovenring in daylight you can see my earlier post. The designers of the Hovenring also published a new video recently that has images from above! Giving an even better view of the ring. And Hovenring has its own website!

8 thoughts on “Hovenring at night

  1. An amazing structure dedicated to bicycles! Excellent video. The video of the Mayor of Indianapolis was very encouraging too.

    1. Well, it doesn’t pale it… It just proves and elaborates on the point of how much beauty combined with cycling enhance the environment and the cityscape and city cycling in general.

  2. Mark, you bring up a very important point in your first sentence about very special infrastructure appealing to a wider audience. Having a small modal share for bicycling can make it very difficult to get the majority of the population to support installing bicycle infrastructure. Creating something new, big, shiny and sexy that has something in it for a wider audience than just bicycling can get politicians and the general populous to support the idea.

    Here’s a Streetsfilm example of a big, bold and beautiful 8-mile $63 million bike and pedestrian path in Indianapolis which includes $2 million of art work that was created without any local tax dollars.:


    A key reason that this city of 836,000 people was able to get private money for this is that they didn’t describe it as a infrastructure project, but as a quality of life and economic development project.

    When the current Indianapolis mayor Greg Ballard was elected in 2007 there was one-mile of bike lane in the city and a bicycle commuting modal share of .2%. Now there is 75 miles of bike lanes and the goal is to have 200 miles by 2015. The bicycle commuting modal share in 2011 was .5%. The seems minuscule but its 2.5 times more than when he was first elected.

    Here’s a video of him talking at the 2013 National Bike Summit where at the end he said that a woman came up to him in Indianapolis and said that when she drives next to those bike lanes she has to slow down. His response was “Exactly, now your getting it.”

    Another approach to increasing bicycling in a large city with a low bicycle commuting modal share is taking place in New York City with their 6,000 bicycle share system. Even though it would take a system with over 80,000 bicycles to cover the whole city like Velib in Paris, there are now over 74,000 annual members signed up in the first three months of Citibike in NYC. According to the census bureau that’s about 2% of the working populous that is 16 years or older.

    Here’s a link to system data of Citibike:


    There was a lot of fierce resistance in New York City when bike lanes were being installed starting in 2007 under current mayor Bloomberg. A recent New York Times poll results show 64% of the population now approves of the 200-miles of bike lanes installed and a even larger 73% of those polled approve the installation of the bicycle sharing system:


  3. Lovely shots, Mark!

    I think that Dave’s point is the most important one from a British point of view.

    British planners seem to often look at something like this in isolation, do something similar, and then wonder why it’s not working. (It’s been said before that the only thing London copied from Copenhagen was the colour of the paint, for example!)

    The Hovenring itself may be spectacular, but it’s that massive network of normal, boring, every-day cycle infrastructure which surrounds it that makes it work.

  4. Love the potential for some artist, Mark – a ballet on bikes. Maybe you should suggest it to Nederlands Dans Theater and a filmmaker. It has Oscar winner written all over it!

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