After more than a week in the Netherlands, I’ve been thoroughly spoiled by their famously good cycling infrastructure. Barely a single close encounter with a lorry…. after much sorting and filtering of holiday snaps, here are some of the aspects of their provision that I noticed and appreciated:
This was one of the many causeways linking bits of land. You can see the highway on the right. Being so far removed meant this was peaceful and picturesque.
Navigating by Numbers. The entire cycle network has numbered junctions or nodes, and signs like this show you where you are and which way to go to the next junction. I found that I still used the map (Half the pleasure of touring is in the map-reading!) but these often made route-finding easy. The exception was if one accidentally wandered off the network, in which case the numbers would disappear….
This bridge didn’t have the cycle lane added as an afterthought. It was designed in from the start. And there was another two-way cycle track on the other side!
With standards properly set and applied, and cycling taken seriously, the Dutch have machines like this to sweep the cycle paths. This was the main road in a small village and you can see how pedestrians, bikes, and cars each have their own space. And unlike in Britain, the poles and bollards and trees are not sticking up in the middle of the bike lane!
Traffic has been properly tamed in this residential street by the design. Here bikes and cars share the road in safety.
I liked the fact that safety at night was provided by the extra lighting for bikes and pedestrians!
I found myself wondering whether it is something about Dutch politics or their institutions which allow this utterly sensible planning and execution of good design, all of which is continually being improved – we saw a number of bike lanes being dug up for resurfacing. Perhaps once that first crucial decision has been made – that cycling is a mainstream form of transport – other things fall into place.
These details show a cycle path crossing driveways to houses. The bike path remains level. Drivers are reminded to give way by the angled kerb. The red tar is not just paint. And I don’t remember seeing a single one of these cycle paths blocked by a parked vehicle!
These double-storey racks were outside a commuter railway station, and I couldn’t resist having a go. It was extremely easy to park and lock my bike. From this position you lift the red handle and slide the rack with bike forwards.
Well so much for my holiday snaps. If you have read this far, please leave a comment, that gives me some idea of who is reading the blog!