Ride on parts of the F261 & F59 fast cycle routes Kaatsheuvel – Waalwijk
In my latest post I showed you how the F261 from Tilburg to Waalwijk is taking shape. In this third ride of nine (which I will publish every Monday in October and November) I will show you a ride on the part that is finished and how it connects to another fast cycle route under construction, the F59 from Waalwijk to ʼs-Hertogenbosch.
The F261 in the network. I cycled the finished – most northern – part of it from Kaatsheuvel to Waalwijk, where I turned right to take the F59 in the direction of ʼs-Hertogenbosch.
The start of the video is just south of Kaatsheuvel, and also just south of the theme park the Efteling. There’s a sign pointing to the holiday park belonging to it.
Start of the finished part of the F261, which is actually a detour around the theme park the Efteling.This part is bi-directional as most of the fast cycle routes are. New is the green centre line. That is an experiment and can be found only on this particular route so far.
This part of the F261 has cycle paths in one direction on both sides of the carriage way for motor traffic. The green line is kept on the inside of the route. This makes it easy to find your way. There are also big signs in metro style to keep you informed about where you are in the route.
There are a few roundabouts in the F261. The ones outside the built-up area -such as this one- do not have priority for cycling as is customary in most of the Netherlands. Thanks to the split carriage ways for motor traffic you can cross one lane of traffic at the time. The traffic island in between the lanes is big enough to wait there safely with a bicycle. Because of this design you only have to deal with motor traffic coming from one direction for every sub-crossing.
Where driveways or side streets cross the cycle route it is very clear that traffic crossing the cycle route has to give cycling priority. Note that all the markings (shark’s teeth and elephant’s feet) are outside the cycleway to not optically narrow the cycle way. This is the recommended way for all crossings, but there are still a lot of crossings with the elephant’s feet on the cycleways.
The mail man also uses part of the fast cycle route. Here you can see how that is routed past homes with driveways. The darker rectangular areas left of the cycleway are parking spots for cars. There are only 3 in the picture on this side of the street, none of them used. People are not allowed to park on the more yellow parts. Dutch drivers have been conditioned to only park in designated parking bays.
On the roundabouts inside the built-up areas people cycling do have priority over motor traffic. Here you can see that the elephant’s feet are inside the cycling area. This is not how the latest design handbooks recommend it.
At this point the route has been made bi-directional in a space that seems to have been one-directional before. That means the width is actually not good enough. Fortunately, it is only a short stretch. The traffic sign only shows a bicycle symbol which means that the faster type of mopeds (with the yellow license plates) are not allowed to use it. (The slower type with the blue license plates are bicycles for the law, so they will be using it). Above the traffic sign is a repeater sign to inform that we are still on the F261. The green centre line is a further indication.
The municipality of Waalwijk built a number of new paths and converted some older ones to become this fast cycle route. This part is narrower than the new parts at the beginning of my video, but it is still adequate and convenient.
This is the F59 from Waalwijk to ʼs-Hertogenbosch. That is another route under construction. I wrote about it earlier. Since I published that post the municipality also added a green centre line here and they converted many crossings. All the central traffic islands with bollards at the intersections have been removed to make the cycle way safer.
This is the same location in March 2020; a still from the video in that earlier post. You can see how much narrower the openings were on either side of the traffic island with the two bollards. This is not how the Dutch design intersections any longer. This intersection was therefore updated.
Map of the ride in the video below. North to Waalwijk on the F261 and then east in the direction of ʼs-Hertogebosch on the F59.
Video showing the 8.82km long ride