All about cycling in the Netherlands
The days are incredibly long in the Dutch summer. At the end of June there is daylight from about 4 am to 11 pm. And yet I managed to ride in the dark! The video in this week’s post was filmed on a summer evening (last summer!) just before midnight. I came back from filming the dynamic street lights just outside the built-up area between ʼs-Hertogenbosch and Vlijmen and it struck me how well-lit the route was when I rode back into town. Very soon after that occured to me, I went back to the edge and rode the route again, this time with the camera on.
A camera is not able to capture all the human eye can see, so the video is a lot darker than it seemed to be in reality. The pictures show much better how I saw it. I rode from the edge of the built-up area (literally; the sign with the city’s name is the exact border of the built-up area) to the city centre, namely the square in front of city hall. The route is 3.7km and according to Google Maps that should take about 12 minutes and that is indeed how long it took me.
On this route, that is quite direct and mainly follows main routes for cars, we most of the infrastructure we get to see are unidirectional cycleways alongside the main route for cars. The cycleways are on either side of the road. I encounter quite a few roundabouts. They all have priority for cycling (as is the norm in this country) but they were not built according to the latest design standards. Partly because they already existed before those recommendations came into force and partly because for their location a type of roundabout with a smaller footprint was chosen due to a lack of space. Even while the roundabouts do not meet current design standards, they are still very recognizable and safe.
When I reach the city centre the cycleways abruptly stop and a 30km/h zone starts. In 30km/h zones separated cycling infrastructure is not necessary. With such low speeds and with a reduced traffic volume it is perfectly possible to combine cycling and motor traffic in the same space.
The route ends in the city centre shopping area that is pedestrianized but where cycling is allowed. With the shops long closed (they close at 6pm) there is more than enough space to cycle. There are a few pedestrians, but there is no conflict at all.
A ride from the edge of town to the centre.
This is the third of three posts that are published during my holidays. They are therefore a bit shorter than usual.