All about cycling in the Netherlands
Simon Stevinweg is a major east-west route in the city of ʼs-Hertogenbosch. It is a typical through route for the Netherlands. Two lanes for motor traffic and two separated one-way cycle tracks alongside of it.
It was built as an arterial route and it was opened in January 1976 by an alderman of the city. The design of the street itself has not changed since the street was first constructed. The only thing that changed was the surface of the cycle tracks. Originally concrete tiles, but since the 1990s smooth asphalt. Ordinary black asphalt but with a red coating on top of it. That red top layer has almost worn off now. But it is still a smooth surface.
The first part of the street was originally built in the early 1950s. But by the 1970s it didn’t connect well with a new area of the city to the west that was constructed from the 1960s on. So the city decided to connect two arterial roads by widening the original street and by extending it with a new part through an area with some sports grounds. To connect the two arterials the new street had to make a rather sharp curve for an arterial street. This curve is still very well visible in the street.
The former sports grounds have all gone. The city used the land to build new homes, some schools and a city park. So even with all the buildings the route is still very green and it doesn’t have an inner-city feel, even though it really is in the middle of the city.
What is also very usual for a Dutch arterial street is that the number of side streets is very limited. With a reduced number of junctions traffic safety is increased. The main junctions at the beginning and end of the street have changed. Originally they were traffic light controlled conventional four arm cross roads. These junctions were a perfect example of the typical Dutch junction with separated cycle paths. But both junctions were replaced by roundabouts. I have shown you one of these roundabouts in an earlier post. With the roundabouts the traffic lights were no longer necessary and that makes that you can now cycle non-stop from the central railway station all the way to the end of this route. Non-stop, because when you cycle you have priority over motor traffic at the roundabouts.
The video shows how relaxed everybody cycles here. When you can cycle non-stop you can do it leisurely and still have a very good average speed. The video ends with a view from a car, so you can see that the separated cycle tracks are really making driving for motor traffic more convenient too. This street still is a major route for motor traffic and some bus lines but at the same time it is a main cycle route as well. This is 1970s design with a modern update (the junctions that became roundabouts and the surface). And with that update it is perfect and complies with all the current Dutch road design standards and Sustainable Safety regulations. A very ordinary Dutch street, nothing special in the Netherlands: Simon Stevinweg in ʼs-Hertogenbosch.
A video portrait of Simon Stevinweg in ʼs-Hertogenbosch, a typical arterial road in the Netherlands.The street was named after Simon Stevin a mathematician and military engineer born in the Southern-Netherlands. The street connects to Christian Huygensweg another famous Dutch scientist. Other street names in the area are Newtonlaan, Samuel Morsestraat, Kelvinstraat, Marconistraat and Edisonstraat. The theme is clear.
One of my readers sent me before and after pictures of the junction at the west end of the street. The before picture shows the junction in 1994 and the after picture shows that it had become a roundabout in 2000.