BICYCLE DUTCH

All about cycling in the Netherlands

From on-street cycle lane to bi-directional cycleway

Cycling infrastructure should not only be good on the main routes, you need to be able to cycle everywhere in a city. When the Dutch designate certain routes as main cycle routes it doesn’t mean that you cannot cycle safely on other roads, you can. All main thoroughfares have cycling infrastructure and you can also cycle very well in the traffic calmed 30km/h zones. This week I show you a recently updated cycleway on a through route in ʼs-Hertogenbosch, that is not a part of the city’s main cycle route network, but that does connect to it on both ends.

The new bi-directional cycleway on Reitscheweg in ʼs-Hertogenbosch

The new bi-directional cycleway on Reitscheweg in ʼs-Hertogenbosch. At this location the partition verge between cycleway and roadway does not meet the minimal width standards of 1 metre. The cycleway is wide enough to cycle two abreast.

The Reitscheweg in ʼs-Hertogenbosch gives access for motor traffic to an industrial and office zone at the edge of the city and also to a zone for big box stores. Cars enter from the rest of the city and from the A2 motorway. There even is a motorway access in the street. The street formerly had on-street cycle lanes, but they were of an older type with paint. That paint had faded and the rest of the asphalt was also in a bad state. Due for ‘major maintenance’ the street was upgraded to the latest type of infrastructure. In this case that meant that the inferiour type of bicycle infrastructure (those on-street cycle lanes) was replaced by the real deal: a separate bi-directional cycleway on one side of the street.

The cycleway I show you today is not part of the main cycle network. That goes for the part that I made green in this map. Only the part I made purple is. The street does connect to the main cycle network on both ends.

The cycleway I show you today is not part of the main cycle network. That goes for the part that I made green in this map. Only the part I made purple is. The street does connect to the main cycle network on both ends. (Map city of ʼs-Hertogenbosch)

A more detailed map of the ride in the videos in this post. The most right part until the roundabout-bypass is part of the main cycle route network.

A more detailed map of the ride in the videos in this post. The most right part – until the roundabout-bypass – is part of the main cycle route network. (North is to the left here) Map OpenStreetMap with my addition.

Bi-directional cycleways are increasingly common in The Netherlands but they should be implemented with care. In an inner-urban setting with many end-destinations on both sides of the street they are usually not advisable. In that case people will often have to cross the street extra to get to their end-destination. If it could be good for a certain larger group of people cycling to be able to ride ‘on the wrong side of the road’ (for instance to get to a school more quickly) you will often see a bi-directional cycleway on one side of the street and also a one-way path on the other side. Bi-directional cycleways can be a good idea when there are only a few end-destinations on one side of the street, or in sub-urban areas where they can be planned in such a way that you have to cross larger roads fewer times. They can also be a good solution when they connect to existing bi-directional cycle routes that are completely detached from motor traffic routes. Both latter conditions are met here on Reitscheweg and Aziëlaan. At the south end the route connects to the fast cycle route from ʼs-Hertogenbosch to Oss (where there is no motor-traffic route). From there it takes you under the rail road (motor traffic has no crossing there) and then it keeps you on the side of the street that does not interfere with the A2 motorway access. The down side, in this case, is that this route takes you to one junction on the ‘wrong’ side of the road with only poor visibility (see picture below). Fortunately Dutch drivers have become so used to bi-directional cycleways now that they generally do look in the direction where they would normally not expect people cycling to arrive from, even when the sight-lines are as poor as in this case. But it is strange that a new sign blocking the view was allowed to be put there. The street passes a nature area where you can choose a very nice cycle route on the old road, that has now become for cycling only. I showed you this former country-road before. The street ends on the very large road to Rosmalen that has a bicycle fly over that I have also shown you before. That street has a bi-directional cycleway on one side of the road as well.

An almost blind corner due to the hedge but mostly the large post with commercial outings.

An almost blind corner due to the hedge but mostly because of the large glass structure with commercial outings to the left. At this location the partition verge (with yellow bricks) does meet the standard width of minimal 1 metre.

The cycleway feels quite okay to cycle on, it is wide enough for the cycle traffic volume, but the partition verge between the roadway and the cycleway does not meet the minimum standards everywhere. The CROW manual states that it should be at least 35 centimetres. The verge does meet that requirement, but the manual continues and states that in case of a bi-directional cycleway it should be at least 1 metre and that is certainly not the case at a particular stretch of this street. “Not enough space” will be the excuse, I’m sure, or wanting to save the existing trees. The city of ʼs-Hertogenbosch has also chosen to use the standard type of kerbs (curbs) with the 90 degree straight angle, instead of the more forgiving splay kerb. Why that is, I don’t know. ʼs-Hertogenbosch does use the more forgiving type of kerbs as well, so it is strange they didn’t here.

Another disadvantage of a bi-directional cycleway is other road users misbehaving. This scooter rider is completely on the wrong side of the cycleway, cutting that corner.

A disadvantage of a bi-directional cycleway is other road users misbehaving. This scooter rider is completely on the wrong side of the cycleway, cutting that corner.

Even with these minor shortcomings, all in all the street update is a great improvement over the former on-street cycle lanes.

Reitscheweg before: faded on-street cycle lanes.

Reitscheweg before: faded red paint of the on-street cycle lanes. (Google Streetview 2009)

Reitscheweg after - a bi-directional cycleway on one side of the street.

Reitscheweg after – a bent-out bi-directional cycleway on one side of the street. The new post with names of companies in the big box store centre to the right makes the corner dangerous, because it reduces sight lines. Very strange that that thing was allowed there (Google Streetview 2015)

The junction Reitscheweg - Aziëlaan before. A T-junction with on-street cycle lanes.

The junction Reitscheweg – Aziëlaan before. A T-junction with on-street cycle lanes. (Google Streetview 2009)

The connection Reitscheweg - Aziëlaan has become a roundabout for motor traffic that is by-passed by a bi-directional cycleway. A re-located parking-lot access makes it a four-arm roundabout where there was only a T-junction before.

The connection Reitscheweg – Aziëlaan has become a roundabout for motor traffic that is by-passed by a bi-directional cycleway. A re-located parking-lot access makes it a four-arm roundabout where there was only a T-junction before. (Google Streetview 2015)

Ride from South to North (the updated part starts at 01:10 and ends at 03:25)

Ride from North to South (updated part 1:03 to 03:09)

14 comments on “From on-street cycle lane to bi-directional cycleway

  1. I made a request to the municipality of Den Bosch to remove the blind junction, IE trim the hedges and relocate the massive sign.

  2. Pingback: Stafieja - zmarnowana szansa na wzorcową drogę rowerową - Rowery.Rzeszów.pl - Stowarzyszenie Rzeszowskich Rowerzystów

  3. Andre Engels
    2 November 2015

    A correction: “Map Bing Maps with my addition” – it is clear to me that this is Openstreetmap’s cycle map, not anything from Bing.

    • bicycledutch
      2 November 2015

      Of course it is! Thanks for mentioning that, I corrected it right away.

  4. What did you say at 4:08?

    • bicycledutch
      27 October 2015

      I can’t hear it either, but something along the lines of “oh it’s already green”

  5. Robert
    27 October 2015

    I almost forgot to ask. What is the actual width of the cycle path, 3.5 metres maybe? 4 metres? And how wide were the cycle lanes?

  6. Robert
    27 October 2015

    You should film how you get heavier loads like a big bunch of groceries to home. Obviously not your actual home. That is a secret you can keep to yourself, and the mailman. I was trying to convince my mother than bicycles, and indeed tricycles can be used for heavier loads. I showed her pictures of bakfietsen and measured the dimensions of our mini van’s cargo space in the back and it was almost exactly the same dimensions as a backfiets cargo space. If you had any children, but have long since moved out, maybe it would be good to see how a modern route to school from home (a couple hundred metres away from your actual home) to school looks like.

    • bicycledutch
      27 October 2015

      Not gonna happen! I walk to the grocery store, it’s 50 metres from my home. So you’ll have to do with the old video about shopping!🙂

      • What was the biggest load you’ve ever carried on a bicycle, and how did you actually carry it? I heard that some IKEAs have cargo bikes you can borrow to get the furniture you bought back home. I also wonder where you keep your Den Bosch bicycle, I know where your Utrecht bicycle is kept overnight, in the central railway station, but how do you keep your Den Bosch bicycle thief and weather proof?

        • Ihsan
          30 October 2015

          I have seen people transport dryers and small refrigerators on their regular bikes. It is not advised though, and many bikes won’t cope. Many Dutch parents have sturdy bike panniers with which you can easily transport like 30+ kg plus a child.There is no such thing as thief-proof bike parking except maybe a few guarded facilities.

        • jeldering
          30 October 2015

          Many Dutch homes have locked, dry storage space for bicycles in some way: e.g. as a shed in the garden, garage, or a storage box on the ground or basement floor of a flat building. If I’m not mistaken, Dutch law mandates that any newly built homes actually have space to store a bike.

        • fIEtser
          1 November 2015

          Depending on the area, many people just leave their bikes outside on the front porch at night. Seat covers keep the seat dry if there’s rain, the wheel (café) locks keep the bike from disappearing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on 27 October 2015 by in Original posts and tagged , , , .

Archives

%d bloggers like this: