BICYCLE DUTCH

All about cycling in the Netherlands

Main cycle route updated

“Utrecht is a city in transition” said the jury of the Cycling City election last May. It was one of the reasons why the city did not become Cycling City of the Netherlands. A bit surprising, because apart from the building activities in the city centre, most of the main cycling infrastructure in Utrecht is finished and of a very high standard. The 5-kilometre-long cycle route from the north borough of Overvecht to the city centre, can serve as a fine example of a cycle route that has been updated recently. It was mostly finished late 2015.

hoofdfietsroute-3

The city announced the big reconstruction works to make the Main Cycle Route really that, at the beginning of the route.

This being the Netherlands, it had always been possible to cycle this route, mostly already on dedicated cycling infrastructure, but this upgrade meant the route became more recognisable and of a higher quality. So the cycleways were widened and surfaced with smooth red asphalt. The final parts of the route update were the transformation of the Talmalaan as a cyclestreet, (which I have shown you in an earlier post) and the Carnegiedreef in Overvecht, which was mostly finished late 2015. The last activity in this route was the reconstruction of one intersection that was finished in March 2016.

hoofdfietsroute-1

Utrecht’s (upgraded) Main Cycle Routes on a map. I cycled from the north to the centre on the route I highlighted in green.

The reason for the council of Utrecht to upgrade these main cycle routes is that it wants to offer the many people who choose to cycle in the city a safe and attractive route. Utrecht is growing rapidly and the city feels it can only keep the growing city “pleasant, orderly, clean and safe” when even more people cycle. In the case of the cycle street in the Troelstralaan, the update was part of a broader urban renewal and revitalisation plan of that neighbourhood.

zamenhofdreef2016

The cycleways in the main route are wide and have a surface of smooth red asphalt. It is clear the route is used well, even on the cold winter day when I filmed part of the route.

That also goes for the Carnegiedreef. This is a main access street for a large part of the Overvecht borough, in which the complete street network was updated to better meet the current policies of Sustainable Safety. Many of the through streets were redesigned from 50km/h streets to 30km/h residential zones, for which these streets were literally cut in half. I have shown you this urban renewal project in an earlier post.

Relatively too many crashes occurred at one of the intersections (Carnegiedreef and Paranadreef). That was reason for the municipality to update that particular intersection even after the reconstruction of the cycle route had already been finished. In this reconstruction cycleways were built – on the intersection itself – also for the crossing street. Previously the cycletracks stopped before you reached the intersection. They now continue all the way across the intersection. This means the intersection can be called a ‘protected intersection’ now. The reconstruction took about one month and it was finished in March 2016.

carnegiedreef-paranadreef-2016

The plan for the reconstruction of the intersection of Paranadreef (left to right) with Carnegiedreef (top to bottom). It was built exactly this way. The straight cycleways (in red) make sight lines very clear. Residents of the area keep complaining though, that this particular intersection is still not safe enough.

This was not the first time that parts of the Carnegiedreef were reconstructed. The street had been built in the mid-1960s as a main road with 2×2 lanes for motor traffic and one-directional cycleways on either side, with a tiled surface, which was the standard of that time. This big road encouraged drivers to drive at very high speeds, that killed people. In 1968 a couple in a car crashed into another car, killing the couple and injuring three others, including a 3-year-old child. After this crash, traffic lights were installed on the intersection where that crash had taken place. In June 1979, a young driver, 20 years old, drove 100km/h where only 50km/h was allowed. A 10-year-old girl crossing the two lanes (one half of the Carnegiedreef) on foot had no chance to reach the other side in time and she was killed on the spot, by the speeding driver in his car. In December 1979, he was jailed for 2 months and lost his driver’s license for 1 year. The young girl’s death by speeding led to fierce discussions in which many people asked for a better speed limit enforcement by the police.

carnegiedreef-1980

Headlines in a newspaper from 21 March 1980. “Enforcement does little to stop speeding – Police sees more in road redesign” Police commissioner M. van Dosselaar: “Police enforcement of traffic rules should really be a last resort.” He is pictured here on Carnegiedreef with the temporary measures to stop speeding (one lane with chicanes) behind him.

The Utrecht police commissioner for traffic, mr M. van Dosselaar, then voiced some remarkable views for that time. Early 1980, he argued law enforcement was not the answer. He even turned to the minister of transport with some straight forward reasoning: “if something doesn’t work, it is usually wrong”. Meaning that streets where too many people speed are probably designed the wrong way. In a national newspaper he was quoted: “Before we start enforcing, we first count how many people break the rules. If the percentage is too high, enforcement is pointless. It would be much more meaningful to make speeding impossible in such locations.” That is exactly what happened in the Carnegiedreef, only months after the death of the 10-year-old girl. With simple means such as planks and old oil-drums filled with sand, all painted red and white, the municipality had narrowed the 2×2 road to 2×1 lane. The one lane also alternated from one of the former two lanes to the other, creating chicanes. This decreased the speed of motor traffic dramatically, because it made speeding impossible. Just what the police commissioner had proposed. The temporary measures were made permanent, already in the early 1980s, and the chicanes are still present on the Carnegiedreef, to this day.

carnegiedreef-1968-2016

Carnegiedreef before and after the reconstruction. It is no wonder that people speeded in the before-situation. This clearly was not a road signaling the speed limit is 50km/h (32mph).

The cycle route to the city centre (I rode all the way to the – temporary –  entrance of Central Station) is 5 kilometres. It took me just over 17 minutes, so I rode with an average speed of 18km/h. Which is a reasonable speed, especially when you consider this is a city route with 9 signalised intersections.

The video is available in real-time speed and in 3 times normal speed, both with annotations.

Video in real-time.

Video sped-up 3 times.

 

 

23 comments on “Main cycle route updated

  1. cycleBA
    25 July 2016

    Utrecht is doing an amazing work! That`s the kind of infrastructure that really make people cycle. Here in Buenos Aires, although the city is in transition, i don`t think we are going in the right direction….. The city has developed a 125 km. cycle ways network speedy, but they don`t meet any standard. They are narrow (no more than 1,5 m. wide), so some are facing congestion on the morning and evening rush hour. They are placed on the sidewalk or on the left of the road, dangerously near to cars and pedestrians, leading to frequent conflicts. They were constructed on secondary roads, so they do not capture enough traffic to ease the congestion on the main streets. They don`t get priority at junctions, leading to long waiting times. They are not designed for long journeys (more than 5 km) and are concentrated around the city center. There are almost no bike parking facilities and the bike share system ECOBICI has been recently scrapped. The cycle ways have been successful in comparison to five years ago, but not enough to be a main part of the city transportation, its modal share is of only 3% of the total journeys. Meanwhile, the motor traffic is the king of the road, what causes severe congestion, pollution, long journey times and overcrowding of buses and trains on the rush hour.
    Several projects were raised to change this reality but any of them include cycling. Although average commuting distances are quite long, this can be solved by combining different modes of transport like bike and metro, or bike and buses. Cycling potential in the city is not fully deployed, at all.
    Greetings from Argentina!

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  3. XY Mustermann
    12 July 2016

    Nice.
    But I don`t unterstand, why the cycle-track at crossings with sidestreets bends out and has a distance to the street.
    On the street a right-turn-cardriver is not able to see a cyclist, because the cyclist is on the basis of the distance in the blind spot, where the shoulder view is needed. When the right-turning-cardriver is close to the cycletrack, he see not better(blind spot), he will forgot to look, because the cycletrack comes out of nowhere and he need`s time to braking, because he is close for the cycletrack.
    In Germany cycletracks will bend to the street and there are no distance to the street. So cardriver see there is a cycletrack and can see the cyclists in front of the car or in the mirror.
    But also with this design cardriver forgot to look at cyclists. So a seperated traffic light for rightturning or a interweafing, so that cyclists not on the right of right turn drivers, are ideal.
    My English is terrible.

    • Bert Jansen
      12 July 2016

      Because the cardriver already starts making the turn, he has the cyclist more in his frontview and does not need to look over his shoulder.
      The Dutch cardriver knows there is a cyclepath, he knows that the cyclist has piority and he can not argue that he didn’t see the cyclist, because he has her/ him in plain view.
      It is the “German” solution which results in more accidents.
      This is a statistical fact.

    • Andre Engels
      12 July 2016

      This method is in the first place for drivers coming from the side road. With the cycletracks away from the road, they can first check for traffic on the cycletrack, cross it when that is empty, put their car between cycletrack and road, and only then have to check the motor traffic, rather than having to look at everything at once. But even in the case that you mention (a car coming from the same direction, turning right) it has advantages: The car can leave the main road before crossing the cycletrack, which puts them at right angles, which is a much better position to check for traffic

    • Niels S
      12 July 2016

      For example, the one at 0:30 right? The distance to the street is about a car length, space for cars to stand still without interrupting traffic on the road or on the cycle path. The blind spot is not an issue, as there are shark teeth before the cycle path. if a car turns right from the road, it then has to wait and look again before it can cross the cycle path, cyclists have priority. That’s why that distance is there like I said, it’s space for a car to wait. Also, in many cases, like this one, the cycle path is elevated, and it’s bright red. It’s pretty hard to miss, a small bend won’t change that.

    • Ewout
      12 July 2016

      You are right. Actually the Dutch road design manual provides two options for cycle tracks crossing side streets:
      – Bend toward the carriageway: less than 1 meter distance
      – Bend away from the carriageway: at least 4,5 meter distance

      The bend away variant is generally preffered, because it allows a car to be able to wait for cyclists without hindering other traffic.

      Any distance between 1 and 4,5 meter will result in cyclist being in the blind spot, and is therefore not recommended. Still, you will see this quite a lot in the Netherlands. This is mainly caused by practical issues, such as lack of space.

    • Alberto
      12 July 2016

      Hey XY, your english is pretty good! A 2010 Dutch study of accidents at crossings (Schepers et. al, ‘Oversteekongevallen met fietsers’, available here: http://fietsersbond.amsterdam/_media/2011/100130_oversteekveiligheid_van_fietsers_definitief_opt.pdf ) showed that the safest type of infrastructure at a crossing, when corrected for traffic volume, are cycle tracks separated from the main road by 2.5-5 m. Closer or further than that range, and accident rates increased significantly. This relationship of distance for cycle tracks was also observed in a 1992 German study by Schnull et. al. This German study in the end concluded that cycle lanes or no markings on the road were the safest at crossings, but did not take in to account accidents where cyclists pre-sorting to turn left were rear ended by cars. These appear to occur much more often where there are cycle lanes. The 2010 Dutch study did take these in to account and found that cycle tracks that go in one direction are the safest of all infrastructure types at intersections, though not by much more than cycle lanes. Bi-directional tracks were the most dangerous by far.

      The possible reason why more distance is safer is that when the cycle track is 2.5-5 m from the road right turning cars can make the turn, and then worry about looking for cyclists after. It gives them enough space to complete the maneuver and stop and wait without having to worry about other cars around them. It also prevents right-hook/dead-man’s-hook type accidents with trucks. Further then 5 m and cars likely have enough room to turn and speed up again thereby not having enough time to react to approaching cyclists.

      Those interweaving lanes at intersections are not very common in the Netherlands, and as far as I’m aware not best practice. It requires the car drivers to actually be paying attention to be safe, and they feel very unpleasant to ride on. They are pretty much standard practice here in California and they seem super unsafe. A car who wants to turn right might accelerate and cut you off so they don’t have to wait for you to go by. A car that changes it’s mind at the last minute and decides to go straight or turn right can suddenly swerve across the bike lane. In San Francisco a police car did this just recently and sent an approaching cyclist flying ten meters, severely injuring them. That said, I haven’t seen any studies about safety for those types of designs.

      I would be interested to hear what Mark has to say about those! In Nijmegen, the intersection of Groenestraat and Sint Annastraat has one of those interweaving lanes with right turning cars to the right of the cycle lane…and even street view show a car crossing the cycle lane illegally! https://www.google.com/maps/@51.83052,5.8572661,3a,75y,129.06h,74.38t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1so6fn3N4aAiEv1WmkFa0FqA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1?hl=en

    • Jitensha Oni
      12 July 2016

      @XY Mustermann
      I can’t comment on the safety aspects, but does that not result in vehicles blocking the cycleway that are trying to exit the side road onto the main road? The Dutch system also gives space for riders turning left so that they don’t block those going straight on. You can see on Mark’s video that where there is a wide strip between cyclepath and road, the path goes straight across.

    • Cycletroll
      12 July 2016

      Drivers tend to just turn and run over cyclists at such points which is why the Dutch do the opposite of what the Germans do, giving drivers a better chance to properly look out for cyclists and visually emphasizing the cyclists’ priority in a much better way.

    • Koen
      13 July 2016

      I thought everyone else would have mentioned it, but here it is: Mark has already answered most of these questions on his blog. And he collected them in a bunch: https://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/tag/junction-design/ Happy readings!

      • mustermann70
        14 July 2016

        Yes, interisting blog, but complicated.

        “De minste ongevallen gebeuren bij kruispunten met eenrichtingsfietspaden op een afstand van twee tot vijf meter van de weg.”
        This is really the conclusion. A contradiction to our conclusions.
        http://bast.opus.hbz-nrw.de/volltexte/2011/253/pdf/V184.pdf
        http://bernd.sluka.de/Radfahren/Radwege.html

        I think it is important to distinguish between intersection with and without traffic lights.
        In the videos are at many intersections with traffic lights separated signals for right turning cars or a seperated greenphase for cyclists. Then there is no conflict.

        The argumentation, that tracks are safer than paths, because the left-turning-cyclists, I don´t support.
        By Left-turn on bicycle you can early go on the roadway and turn like a car or indirect from the sidestreet, independently there is a track or lane.

        When you turn diagonal (http://fs5.directupload.net/images/160714/r9hrrzml.jpg) you must go at the end on the street again, because in sidestreets are most no cycletracks. And when cyclists cross the mainroad, they must view at traffic from the sidestreets, too.

        Here is a cycletrack behind parked cars and trees with a distance from 2meters.
        https://www.google.com/maps/@51.8296599,5.8720615,3a,77.4y,82.21h,81.33t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s-50eSOiEE48JJ-3l9O66Uw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en
        In the study was, that bad sight is no big problem. When you want turn right with a car view at cyclists first here, close to the track: https://www.google.com/maps/@51.8297054,5.872605,3a,75y,230.5h,63.37t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sYxNiC8dAp-UAeWxKuUyf_g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en
        And there surely driver, who are to fast, so can not brake for a cyclist, or forgot to view at this crucial point, where cross suddenly a cycle track.

        Here is a wide cycle lane.
        https://www.google.com/maps/@51.8298196,5.8702558,3a,75y,350.2h,80.62t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s0iH3DEzgKYAFy3VlAS8lUg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en
        When you want turn right here, you see there is a cycleinfrastracture and the cyclists on them. You overtake the cyclists, so must see them before turn right in front of your car. In the mirror is a good view, too.


        So the argument with no blind spot at cycle tracks with distance is difficult to keep.
        From the sidestreet:
        https://www.google.com/maps/@51.8302977,5.8701917,3a,75y,203.62h,70.87t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1skqB5zv_lXMjPnb-xoijvRQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en
        And here you can wait and see cars and bikes at one view. You not must look at the cycletrack and then at the street, you easily wait behind the lane.

        At junctions with traffic lights is a problem, that cyclists can be faster than cars and conflicts are while the green phase. So there conflicts always, when cyclists right of right-turning cars.
        In Kopenhagen are lanes for cyclists and right-turning-vehicle. https://www.google.com/maps/@55.6719739,12.568688,3a,75y,257.18h,78.15t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sz-dQbxCa833FgNVhsEItFw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1?hl=en
        Right-turning-vehicles must change on this lane. And then they can´t forgot cyclists, because when I change a lane, it is clear, that I must give the vehicles on this lane way.
        http://www.vejdirektoratet.dk/DA/viden_og_data/publikationer/Lists/Publikationer/Attachments/844/2014_Undg%C3%A5%20h%C3%B8jresvingsulykker.pdf
        It´s the same prinzip, like the cycle lane on the left of the right-turning-lane.

        • Koen
          25 July 2016

          Once the truck turns right, the road layout should be such that the truck has to stop or slow down before crossing the cycle path. By then, the truck cabin has turned so much that the dead hook or angle has shifted so that the cyclist is in view. German results tend to differ from Dutch research. I would be curious to know how and why. Does anyone have a good answer?

          • Koen
            25 July 2016

            Very good questions by the way, Mustermann.

        • Alberto
          27 July 2016

          Hey mustermann, thanks for the link to the German studies, and good arguments! Koen answered the right-hook bit. The German pdf article you linked to actually doesn’t really contradict the Dutch claims – the english summary on pages 3 and 4 says “The average accident rate of roads with cycle paths is insignificantly higher than the accident rate of roads with cycle lanes.” . While the dutch study found that one-directional paths were safer than lanes, when the two were directly compared the differences were also not statistically significant.

          Your linked article also notes earlier on that: “Compared to cycle lanes, on cycle paths there are less interferences for the cyclists caused by other cyclists, by motorists or by pedestrians. At cycle lanes, most interferences are caused by vehicles parked irregularly. At some of the cycle lanes analysed, there are more critical situations for the cyclists than at cycle paths.”

          The pdf study goes on to conclude that “…none of the types of cycle facilities may be preferred in general…When having a good quality – as e.g. with regard to fields of vision and to dividing verges to parking
          cars –, the accident risk of cyclists decrease at each type of cycle facility.”

          The website you linked is more problematic. It quotes an older German study (Schnull et al. 1992), which the Dutch study also referenced. This older study only looked at accidents where the drivers were turning across the cycle lane/path, while the Dutch study looked at all accidents. Here is where they found that cyclists turning left on cycle lanes are apparently hit frequently by cars coming from behind, since the left turn maneuver you described is quite stressful, especially for the elderly, as you have to move across speeding motor traffic.

          Some of the other points on that website are problematic from a logical standpoint. For example, the guy said 75% of bike accidents in Berlin occurred on cycle paths, despite only 10% of roads having cycle paths. This is just bad statistics! If most people are riding on the cycle tracks, then of course most accidents will happen there! Without more information on cycling and automobile volumes it’s impossible to draw conclusions from that data.

          To the Dutch perceived/subjective safety is also very important, which is why they build cycle paths/tracks where they can. They just *feel* much safer on a psychological level, even if in practice they might not be significantly safer than lanes. This is important for getting people to actually risk riding a bike. Personally I think they look like a more pleasant place to be as well. That intersection you linked to in Copenhagen might be perfectly safe design wise, but does not *feel* safe. I can’t see many 10 year olds or 80 year olds riding there. I personally would not use it either – all intersections are like that here in Southern California, and they are awful and actually dangerous. I never bike here.

          Plus, the Dutch must be doing something right! If Dutch cycle path design was so much more unsafe than German and Danish designs as some claim, it might show in the statistics. Yet, per billion km travelled, the dutch are nearly 1.5 times less likely to be killed while riding a bike than the German or Danish, despite cycling roughly two to three times as much…on extensive cycle paths/tracks while not wearing helmets! (Source, pg.114 of this OECD report: http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/transport/cycling-health-and-safety_9789282105955-en#page116 )

          At the end of the day, safety is not just about individual junctions, but about the quality of the network as a whole. The best way to make a safe cycling network is to plan routes that are of good quality and that intersect with motor traffic at grade as little as possible. When cyclists do have to be close to cars, keep car volumes and speeds as low as possible.

          • mustermann70
            30 July 2016

            “Once the truck turns right, the road layout should be such that the truck has to stop or slow down before crossing the cycle path. By then, the truck cabin has turned so much that the dead hook or angle has shifted so that the cyclist is in view. ”
            So the truck is 90° to the cycletrack? He can´t turn at 90° on 5m.

            “German results tend to differ from Dutch research Does anyone have a good answer?”
            I want to know, too

            “At cycle lanes, most interferences are caused by vehicles parked irregularly.”
            Yes this is a problem and dangerous. But on cycletracks can also parked and when on cyclelanes more controles. First I see it is sometimes difficult to different what is lane and track, for example there: https://www.google.de/maps/@51.5679924,5.0719914,3a,52.2y,223.2h,81.2t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sqhT4N6sgpT-71t7ltl2tpA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
            And then it is more important how is the junction design. (with and without trafficlights and gatewy (i mean when cross with your car the cycletrack to come in your garage)) lane vs.track is to black and white.
            About the left-turning cyclists I must think and the study I see later.

            Cycletracks in Berlin are at junctions adjacent. Cycletracks with a distance to the road bend in. So it is important, how it is on and before junctions. So there can be a cycletrack, but min. 20m before junctions change in an cyclelane.
            https://www.google.de/maps/place/Berlin/@52.5064336,13.3525879,59m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x47a84e373f035901:0x42120465b5e3b70!8m2!3d52.5200066!4d13.404954
            The NL junctions need much more space than Berlins and at Berlin junctions are no conflicts with pedestrians an other cyclists.
            But the “bend in” must be often earlier in front of the junctions, because right-turning vehicles get slower and then cyclists come from back without being seen.
            And then a cyclelane would be better, because the cycletracks looks like a normal sidewalk.

            But at junctions with traffic lights I see the combilane and the cyclelane at the left of the right-turning lane as the only solution, because right-turning driver forgot cyclists and at traffic light junctions cyclists are often faster and came from the back and the cardriver must look in the mirror to see the cyclists. When right-turning it is not so clear, that there are drivers how want in right of you straight on. It is not logically.
            And cyclists not only ride on seperated infrastructure. When they ride on a road with 4000 cars/day, they also can ride on a combilane with 4000 right-turning cars/day.

            Very interesting:
            http://www.agfk-bayern.de/kombistreifen-fur-rechtsabbiegende-kfz-und-geradeausfahrende-radfahrer

            At junctions with traffic lights a distance between 2m-4m is dangerous.
            http://udv.de/de/strasse/wege-fuer-radfahrer/mensch/radfahrer

            About cycle lanes:
            http://bast.opus.hbz-nrw.de/volltexte/2015/1401/pdf/V257b.pdf

            Also interesting:
            http://www.enu.at/images/doku/radgipfel2012_meschik.pdf

            No problems with combilanes: page 26
            https://www.google.de/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwi5s9rniZvOAhXrAMAKHcqXCxgQFgglMAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.velokonferenz.ch%2Fdownload%2Fpictures%2Fe8%2Fil219ah078s72g70mvfcmholj1jicr%2Fvelomass.pdf&usg=AFQjCNHBEJuuyvdno02VkagKv65hAOGRQg&sig2=cIdj0bXlX1o6TktBX8ri0g

            Of course at the end all the whole system is important. In NL often cycletracks not parallel to a road, rather independently road. Then there are separated signal-phases and tunnels.

            • Alberto
              31 July 2016

              But mustermann, right turn combi lanes aren’t needed at Dutch style protected intersections because cyclists get a free protected right turn! It’s a solution to a problem that does not exist at large, busy junctions in the Netherlands! Combi lane designs place extra cyclists in danger that *don’t need* to be in danger. Again, I feel it’s the obsession where cyclists are treated as mini cars rather than fast pedestrians.

              Compare the intersection in Berlin you just showed us:
              https://www.google.de/maps/@52.5064599,13.3525483,3a,75y,262.44h,71.24t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sUTmeH0pNJqHGNIUn886dcw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

              To this in Utrecht:
              https://www.google.de/maps/@52.1051329,5.0924464,3a,75y,329.98h,70.02t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1seIcKfDOTrvVHLG5WWHkihQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

              The Utrecht cycle path is wider and the waiting line for cyclists is nearly 12 m in front of the waiting line for cars, placed exactly where a right turning car will be looking. This also means bikes get a head start and can clear the intersection before the cars even get there. Cyclists turning right don’t have to worry about cars or traffic signals, they have a free protected right turn.

              Not only that, but by setting the cycle lane 2-5m from the main road it also means cyclists have less road distance to cross. If the Utrecht intersection was designed the same way as the Berlin one, with the cyclist waiting line being only 1-2 m in front of cars, a cyclist would have to cross nearly 40 m of open road! With the current design they only have to cross 20 m.

              For large busy junctions in the Netherlands, right turning cars usually have their own turning phase, separate to that of cyclists going straight. So there is no conflict.

              In the Netherlands, cycle track intersections without traffic signals are usually only residential side streets, with very little turning traffic. In those cases the corners are usually very sharp and the side streets very narrow, and so speeds are very low. There are also often speed bumps. The lower speeds also decrease the chance of death or injury.

              From what I’ve seen, cycle tracks in Germany and Denmark are designed very differently at intersections. German and Danish cycle tracks seem to have waiting areas next to the cars, as opposed to in front of them. By being beside the cars, instead of way in front (or mixed) with them, they are less visible. Could this explain why they are more dangerous compared to Dutch tracks?

              For example compare this other cycle track intersection in Berlin:
              https://www.google.de/maps/@52.5043906,13.3512189,3a,75y,211.41h,58.52t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sSNYhH76FY8uTgIuznqhxgw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

              And this one on the busiest cycle street in Copenhagen (I like how in this picture everyone with a bike is crossing on the pedestrian zebras!):
              https://www.google.com/maps/@55.6861242,12.5653621,3a,75y,139.99h,58.24t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s5dHNAzdP_ZlGBI5QGG-rSQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en

              To this other one in Utrecht:
              https://www.google.de/maps/@52.1191191,5.1127062,3a,75y,346.46h,67.51t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s_AjVUlj8i0E3Buf3VOIjNQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

              Again, it’s a fact that cycling in Holland is safer than in Denmark or Germany, despite the dutch cycling a lot more and having a lot more cycle tracks. If some of the more extreme German results about cycle tracks were accurate, this could not possibly be the case, right? Unless cycle infrastructure does very little to contribute to actual safety.

              Good discussion in any case!🙂

            • mustermann70
              31 July 2016

              “The Utrecht cycle path is wider”
              Oh, yes . . .

              “the waiting line for cyclists is nearly 12 m in front of the waiting line for cars, placed exactly where a right turning car will be looking. This also means bikes get a head start and can clear the intersection before the cars even get there.”
              Yes, cyclists how came on red at the junction are on the worst junction safe. But cyclists, how came while the traffic light for cars and cyclists is green, are the problem. Cyclists and right-turning (left-turning) cars must cross, somehow.

              “Cyclists turning right don’t have to worry about cars or traffic signals”
              But about pedestrians and cyclists from left. At all junctions right-turning cyclists have no interaction with cars. At combilanes you could build an extra cycletrack for right-turning cyclists, but it need much extraspace.

              “Berlin one, with the cyclist waiting line being only 1-2 m in front of cars.”
              It´s enough, because the cycle track is close to the road. And for cyclists, who come on green it has no effect.

              “cross nearly 40 m of open road!”
              At a big junction. But it is no problem, because the others have red and you can ride more right in the cyclelane. And you safe space.

              “own turning phase”
              This is good, but only at big intersections possible. And then there is a problem with same green, when using own turning phase.

              “German and Danish cycle tracks seem to have waiting areas next to the cars, as opposed to in front of them. By being beside the cars, instead of way in front (or mixed) with them, they are less visible. Could this explain why they are more dangerous compared to Dutch tracks?”
              Most the traffic light for bikes get one, two seconds earlier green than for cars. Cyclists, how came while the traffic light for cars and cyclists is green, are the problem. And when the traffic light becomes green and after that a cyclists come, he is faster than cars.
              So he is not visible in the front of car. Then 2 things needed. The driver must have a good view on the cyclist. When he is close to the road he is good visible in the mirror. (my pictures) Then he must look at the cyclist, but many here forgot it, because a straight-on cyclist right of a right-turning car is not clear. When the cardriver must change the lane go on the cyclelane (combilane), he can´t forgot to look, because it is clear that vehicles on a lane by changing lane have priority.

              “Again, it’s a fact that cycling in Holland is safer than in Denmark or Germany, despite the dutch cycling a lot more and having a lot more cycle tracks.”
              Yes, the whole system is safer, because the situation with green for cyclists and right-turning cars are avoid with indepently cycletracks, separatly greenphases, tunnels. And there there is a real bikingculture. But compare only the junctions with both green?

              “Good discussion in any case!:)”
              Yes

  4. Doug T.
    12 July 2016

    Another great job filming exemplary infrastructure. Although your main purpose is to show how well planned roads make cycling safer, I use these kinds of videos for another purpose. I use them as inspiration for my wife as she is pedaling her exercise set up (bicycle/exercise stand/laptop computer). She pedals her “Oma” bike as physical therapy following double hip replacement surgery. It is a great way for her to enjoy her “rides” while regaining her strength! Thanks so much!

  5. Christine
    12 July 2016

    I’ve just cycled the length of the carnegiedreef this evening on my way home, this cycle route is where I ride each day into town too. The cycle paths are so wide and smooth. We’ve just had new count down traffic lights put in on a number of junctions and because of the sensors, it not uncommon for the lights to turn green as you approach a junction. I love living in Overvecht as a cyclist, I ride every day with my kids, the day to day stress of Cambridgeshire roads is s distant memory. Utrecht is my home city now. Ik voel me lekker thuis.

  6. Mark, ik dank je voor alle de advise op fietsen en wegen. Op je weten, ik ben nu en advocate dankt op je.

    I do really feel indebted to your work for showing how we must all pay attention to one another. I still can’t believe that I was so unaware until I began to see your work, which was only 2 years ago.

    And I agree with the Utrecht police’s opinion. Speeds of something like 100 km/h are only suitable on main grade separated highways where there are no pedestrians or cyclists. What kind of a fool would think that they stand a chance? The rules must be sensible for the kind of road we are on regardless of mode, people will do what they think they can, so the environment they are in can support the right thing to do. Which interestingly is the way that the Dutch, and every other sensible country in this world of ours, has dealt with it’s problems.

    • PatrickGSR94
      12 July 2016

      And yet here in America it’s quite common to see non-separated roads with driveways, side streets, and occasionally even sidewalks (not that common though) on roads with 55 MPH or 90 KPH speed limit, where motorists routinely go 65-70 MPH. Traffic signals are often a mile or more (1.6+ KM) apart, which is partially how traffic is able to reach such speeds in the first place.

      I really, really despise American suburban planning and infrastructure. Car is king, and anyone outside a motor vehicle is of no concern to anyone else.

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This entry was posted on 12 July 2016 by in Original posts and tagged , , .

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