BICYCLE DUTCH

All about cycling in the Netherlands

Riding to the doctor’s

One of the cycle journeys I make every now and then is to a health centre where my family doctor resides. When I had to go there recently, for a simple check, I filmed the ride. This was in the morning rush hour and since I was leaving the city centre I was going in the opposite direction of a lot of people who were riding into that city centre, many of whom school children. I had shown you my ride to the dentist years ago. I still have my dentist in Utrecht, the same practice I went to as a child. That is not allowed for your general practitioner. You need to have one in your place of residence, for the obvious reason that the doctor can’t be too far away in case of an emergency.

Starting in front of Town Hall at 8:07 am. If you think: “hang on, isn’t it 9:07 on that clock?” you would be right. That’s because I filmed this shot after I returned, but the actual ride did start at 8:07 am, in the middle of the morning rush hour.

I start the video right in front of city hall. That’s close enough to my home. Two weeks ago a group of American politicians, councillors and even a mayor, as well as some engineers visited city hall where I gave them a presentation about cycling in ’s-Hertogenbosch. I had already spoken to the same group a day earlier in Utrecht, where I also gave them a guided tour. The guided tour in ’s-Hertogenbosch took the group to the same service street that can also be seen in this filmed ride. They were impressed by the service street that doubles as a cycle street and they wrote a blog post about it.

I will show you the video first and then there is a bit of information with some stills from the ride.

A ride to the doctor’s.

 

Every morning the market stand keepers arrive with their vans and trucks to set the market up for that day. During the delivery window that is allowed.

The pedestrianised shopping streets in the ’s-Hertogenbosch city centre can all be used for cycling. During the day many more people walk here, but in the morning rush hour, when the shops are still closed, people cycling are the majority. I filmed here before, in the dark winter morning rush hour.

To make it possible for the white van brigade to enter the pedestrianised area there are retracting bollards at every entrance.

A one-way street for motorised traffic in the historic city centre. Cycling can take place in both directions on a counter flow cycle lane. In a traffic calmed 30km/h zone you usually do not see cycle lanes, but a counter flow lane is the exception. That is why there is only one cycle lane on this street. Cycling with the motor traffic flow is on one lane for all types of traffic.

Traffic lights are almost always green for me now, ever since I downloaded the app to communicate with the traffic lights in the city, called Schwung. That is even the case in the rush hour.

A taxi bus (the blue license plate is for vehicles transporting people). It is always disappointing that professional drivers are actually the worst drivers. Although the van does not get into my counterflow lane it does come so close that I have to get to the kerb more. Overtaking the woman so close is also not very nice. A few seconds wait is too much for taxi drivers, that seems to be universal.

The woman driving this car did wait decently with her turn into my path. Here I am about to cross the new Barten bridge. Note how the blocks to mark the edge of the cycle crossing are on the outside of the crossing. This makes the crossing optically wider. This is according to the latest design recommendations.

This reconstructed intersection was also the topic of one of my more recent posts. On this side I pass the minor side street (to the right). It is very clear who has priority here.

This service street was upgraded in 2009. The topic of one of my first videos. I explained the phenomenon of the service street with this very street as an example in an older post. It was also the topic of a People for Bikes post now.

Where the service street is crossed by a major collector road, the city built a typical protected intersection. Since I turn right here I do not have to pay attention to the signals. I can just cycle past the lights.

The major road has uni-directional cycleways on either side. This is a very traditional street lay-out that is more and more replaced by bi-directional cycleways. But here it still works well.

This roundabout in a 30km/h zone is very unusual. The roundabout was already constructed when the blanket speed limit in the built-up area in the Netherlands was still 50km/h. In a 30km/h zone a roundabout is normally unnecessary.

 

My bike parked in front of the community health-centre. Many other visitors also came by bicycle. The centre is home to general practitioners, physiotherapists, pediatricians, there is pregnancy care, a blood draw lab, etc.

The ride on a map.

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13 comments on “Riding to the doctor’s

  1. andreengels
    13 July 2018

    I go to the same place to see my doctor (not necessarily the same doctor, there are 3 or 4 there with a shard practice).

  2. Joel
    24 June 2018

    Input for your blog: Fietsbrug Rijswijk (De Oversteek)

  3. JWM Bijlard
    22 June 2018

    Quote: “A taxi bus (the blue license plate is for vehicles transporting people). It is always disappointing that professional drivers are actually the worst drivers. Although the van does not get into my counterflow lane it does come so close that I have to get to the kerb more. Overtaking the woman so close is also not very nice. A few seconds wait is too much for taxi drivers, that seems to be universal.”

    Dit is, naar mijn mening, onterecht zeuren Mark.
    De afstand tussen banden-fiets en banden-taxi is al gauw 1.2 meter, en de taxi zit met zijn spiegels boven de markering-fietspad, zo hoort het toch ?
    Ook de snelheid van de taxi is heel passend.

    Deelnemen aan het verkeer is ‘samenwerken’.
    En dat deden jullie.
    Ik zie geen enkele reden om daar een negatieve opmerking over te maken.

  4. Pingback: Riding to the doctor’s | Bicycle Dutch

  5. Steven E. Mayer
    20 June 2018

    Very helpful guidance on the rules of the road.

  6. samsavvas
    19 June 2018

    Hi Mark, while I noticed that lots of the metal grates in the footpath and roadway you travelled on for this ‘Doctor visit’ ride are on the diagonal, I also saw quite a few that seemed in-line with the direction of travel. Is any thought given to this or to associated hazards? I’m not suggesting otherwise – just interested. It’s a recurring problem here in Adelaide where grates are removed for inspection etc then often replaced with the (often large) gaps in line with the roadway’s direction of travel! Maybe our drain grate are bigger than yours – nevertheless interested in any comment you may have. regards, Sam.

  7. rrustema
    19 June 2018

    So downtown there is a pedestrian zone and after that a 30km/h zone with no traffic allowed to go in. Both zones with an exception for bicycles. Do these exclude the ‘snorfiets’? Or would that require an extra specification? I saw one parked at 1’42 and one coming from the left at 1’52. When you left the zone at 2’46 I saw a few them parked and you were driving behind one. Which then drove into another zone with a similar ‘except bikes’ sign. In that street there is one parked at 3’13. At 3’36 there is a motorbike parked, which falls in the category of cars.

    All together just a handful! What is happening there? Or is it not allowed to park them downtown?

    Greetings from Amsterdam, fighting the battle against them for a decade now. Not getting anywhere… http://fietspadterug.nl

    • Peter
      20 June 2018

      On 1:17 the pedestrian zone ends. The backside of the left traffic sign is on Google Streetview: https://goo.gl/maps/R9eQupR2yfQ2 . It shows an extra sub-sign which says “fietsen toegestaan, snorfietsen niet”. So it is specified that the snorfietsen are not allowed to ride there. You probably could lead them by the hand and park them in front of a store though…
      The other one way traffic roads are the usual at which (snor)fietsen are allowed to go both ways. So it’s no wonder that the bikes and cycles are parked everywhere. The motorbike next to the bicycle parking is just a space saver.
      A funny detail on Google across the street is the sign that says it is not allowed to park your bike at the bicycle parking there, because the racks will be temporarily removed. The racks are pretty full, so the sign doesn´t make a huge impression. ^^

      • rrustema
        20 June 2018

        Thanks Peter! And I also had to grin about the lovely couple on a ‘snorfiets’ driving right next to the sign saying they are not supposed to drive there. Pretty much sums it up. The problem is national, not only in Amsterdam. But at least the pedestrian zones are a way to fight them! Now, let’s see if the new coalition with the greens in Amsterdam is going to make a pedestrian zone of the old city centre (with bicycles as guests).

        • CV
          20 June 2018

          There is already a way to fight them, without the need for more legislation. If you replace the signs G11 with G13, they are banned to the main road by default. It just means that cyclists are also allowed to ride in the road, unless they also place a sign C14 there. But the latter would mean they have to have to make the paths wide enough for 1,5m wide (tri / quad) cycles. The latter are allowed on the main road if wider than 0,75m regardless of sign G11 or G12a.

          The other part in fighting them is more speed checks. About 96% of them drive faster than legally allowed. The chance you get fined for that right now is not even once per year.

          Starting this year there is also a ban on importing or producing new 2-stroke ones; a ban that should have been there 10 years ago.

  8. E van Hout
    19 June 2018

    The basic rule is that on a crossing with a road that has the same level of priority, cyclist from the right have priority like all other drivers.
    In the video the first cyclist you see comes from the pavement which does not have the same priority.
    later on a cyclist from the right has priority but has to wait for a car coming from her right, so Mark could take advantage of the situation and cross at the same time as the car.

  9. Jim Moore
    19 June 2018

    Hello Mark,
    I enjoyed this very nice vicarious ride with you, even if it was to the doctor (which is way better than any visit to the dentist!)
    I have a question about the IMO quirky give-way-to-the-right rule in the NL; in the video at around 2:55 and 3:10 there are cyclists entering the street from the right from streets that don’t appear to have the dragon teeth, so legally would you have to give way to them? In parctice it seems this rule isn’t what happens and most people entering from the right will give way. A bit like the pragmatic way pedestrians and cyclists negotiate the zebra crossings on cyclepaths in Amsterdam.

    A little bit further on you seem to get cut off by two cyclists from the right who should have given way to you, but it doesn’t really affect your speed as the cyclepath is wide enough to pass two cyclists riding abreast, even on a bridge where street width is at a premium.

    I hope you have time to provide an answer. My apologies if you’ve already explained why the give way to the right rule in a previous blogpost but I can’t recall reading an explanation for it anywhere.

    Regards,
    Jim

    • CV
      20 June 2018

      ” in the video at around 2:55 and 3:10 there are cyclists entering the street from the right from streets that don’t appear to have the dragon teeth, so legally would you have to give way to them? ”

      Yes, but since the other direction doesn’t have to they can’t cross either way and opt to wait until traffic from their right has an opening.

      “In practice it seems this rule isn’t what happens and most people entering from the right will give way.”

      Not all streets from the right have priority, even if they don’t have the dragon teeth. They might be designed as an exit. This is an ongoing confusion. The courts have improved it somewhat. E.g.; if the road surface of cycle paths and sidewalk continues and there are sharp corners instead of bends; it’s an exit; no priority.

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This entry was posted on 19 June 2018 by in Original posts and tagged , , .

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