Cycling in the Netherlands<br />Photos from a visit to Assen, Drenthe, September 2011<br />
Roundabout<br />The first roundabout that I had to tackle coming off the ferry – so much easier than having to mix with th...
Station underpass<br />And here’s the first thing we saw getting off the train. <br />This two-way bike and pedestrian und...
Bicycle road<br />Bikes take priority over cars on this stretch of road. The centre ‘strip’ is raised brick – the bikes ri...
Ring Road<br />Meanwhile the cars use the main through routes and the ring road. <br />Bikes are catered for too, of cours...
Residential street<br />On this older street, the speed limit is 30 km/h (about 20 mph).<br />Brick paving, humped junctio...
Wide bike path<br />This bike path keeps bikes well away from the busy road on the left.<br />It’s wide enough that even t...
How wide?<br />The standard for a two-way bike path in the Netherlands is four metres wide.<br />That’s quite hard to visu...
Bike bin<br />This path is used by lots of secondary school pupils who are as fond of fast food as kids anywhere.<br />The...
Secondary School<br />And here are some of those kids’ bikes...<br />Cycling to school is the rule here, not the exception...
Primary School<br />It’s not just the teenagers though – even the littlest kids ride as soon as they can.<br />Kids on ave...
School run<br />And here’s the end of the school day – bicycle congestion!<br />Cars can’t even get close to the school ga...
Industrial Estate<br />It’s not just residential areas or schools though.<br />This new industrial estate is easily access...
Bike bridge<br />This bridge over one of Assen’s canals is just for bikes and pedestrians. The main road is this side of t...
‘Scramble’ junction<br />On busy intersections, there were ‘all ways green’ junctions for bikes.<br />All cars are stopped...
Bike lanes when you need them most<br />Notice how these bike lanes appear just at the junction, when it gets complicated ...
No bike lanes when you don’t need them<br />This is actually a road – right in the town centre.<br />It’s only used by car...
In fact the only problem the Dutch haven’t solved...<br />...Is the weather.<br />Or have they?<br />
Thanks to...<br />Hembrow Cycling Holidays (http://hembrow.eu/cycling/) for running the tour and showing us round<br />The...
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Cycling in Assen

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Wonderful dedicated cycle infrastructure in the Netherlands

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Cycling in Assen

  1. 1. Cycling in the Netherlands<br />Photos from a visit to Assen, Drenthe, September 2011<br />
  2. 2. Roundabout<br />The first roundabout that I had to tackle coming off the ferry – so much easier than having to mix with the cars and lorries from the boat.<br />Cars give way to the bike track both entering and exiting the roundabout. And they really do!<br />
  3. 3. Station underpass<br />And here’s the first thing we saw getting off the train. <br />This two-way bike and pedestrian underpass not only allows people to cross the railway and the busy road outside the station, but gives access to the various platforms as well <br />
  4. 4. Bicycle road<br />Bikes take priority over cars on this stretch of road. The centre ‘strip’ is raised brick – the bikes ride on smooth tarmac.<br />Cars can only really use this road for access to the houses, whereas for bikes it’s one of the main direct routes into town. <br />Kids often ride four or five abreast on their way to school here – there’s plenty of room. The cars just have to wait!<br />
  5. 5. Ring Road<br />Meanwhile the cars use the main through routes and the ring road. <br />Bikes are catered for too, of course – the little traffic lights are for cyclists (pedestrians have their own)<br />Usually, a sensor in the path picks up the presence of a bike and the light turns green without needing to press the button or wait.<br />
  6. 6. Residential street<br />On this older street, the speed limit is 30 km/h (about 20 mph).<br />Brick paving, humped junctions and frequent give ways make it hard for cars to get up speed.<br />Most of the roads are one way; they’re not a short cut to anywhere so there’s no rat-running traffic. Bikes, however, can go both ways on most one way streets.<br />No need for bike lanes here – with little traffic and low speeds, the bikes mix happily with the few cars.<br />
  7. 7. Wide bike path<br />This bike path keeps bikes well away from the busy road on the left.<br />It’s wide enough that even though the council have parked their vehicles on it (some things never change), there’s plenty of room.<br />It’s well maintained too. In the winter, it’s gritted and ploughed just as the roads are.<br />
  8. 8. How wide?<br />The standard for a two-way bike path in the Netherlands is four metres wide.<br />That’s quite hard to visualise, so here are some bikes to give you a sense of scale...<br />This path had just been resurfaced and was beautifully smooth.<br />
  9. 9. Bike bin<br />This path is used by lots of secondary school pupils who are as fond of fast food as kids anywhere.<br />The bin is designed to be used from a bike – and provide a bit of target practice for all the litter that generates.<br />It’s harder to use than it looks...<br />
  10. 10. Secondary School<br />And here are some of those kids’ bikes...<br />Cycling to school is the rule here, not the exception.<br />After all, on a bike you can ride with your friends – not be stuck in a car with your parents – and there’s no waiting for the bus!<br />
  11. 11. Primary School<br />It’s not just the teenagers though – even the littlest kids ride as soon as they can.<br />Kids on average get themselves to school on their own from the age of 8 ½<br />This is just a few of them heading home for lunch.<br />
  12. 12. School run<br />And here’s the end of the school day – bicycle congestion!<br />Cars can’t even get close to the school gates so it’s easier and more sociable to come on foot or by bike.<br />
  13. 13. Industrial Estate<br />It’s not just residential areas or schools though.<br />This new industrial estate is easily accessible by road, but just as accessible by bike, without having to worry about dealing with big lorries.<br />Whether you drive or cycle to work is up to you.<br />
  14. 14. Bike bridge<br />This bridge over one of Assen’s canals is just for bikes and pedestrians. The main road is this side of the canal; the main route for bikes is on the other.<br />Once more, bikes get their own traffic lights. They don’t have to wait long, either – the longest the light is red for bikes is just 8 seconds.<br />
  15. 15. ‘Scramble’ junction<br />On busy intersections, there were ‘all ways green’ junctions for bikes.<br />All cars are stopped and bikes get a green light in all directions.<br />No need to negotiate cars when you’re turning – just other bikes.<br />The result ought to be chaos – but it works<br />
  16. 16. Bike lanes when you need them most<br />Notice how these bike lanes appear just at the junction, when it gets complicated (where in the UK they tend to disappear!)<br />Bikes can go in both directions on this road, cars in only one.<br />If you’re turning right on a bike you don’t need to wait for the lights at all. Otherwise, bikes get a green light before the cars so they’re out of the way of turning traffic.<br />
  17. 17. No bike lanes when you don’t need them<br />This is actually a road – right in the town centre.<br />It’s only used by cars and lorries making deliveries because you can’t drive all the way through.<br />The result is bikes tend to dominate the traffic and everyone, young and old, is comfortable cycling in to do their shopping.<br />But there’s no problem for shops getting goods in or customers making pickups either.<br />It makes it rather a more pleasant place to eat out too!<br />
  18. 18. In fact the only problem the Dutch haven’t solved...<br />...Is the weather.<br />Or have they?<br />
  19. 19. Thanks to...<br />Hembrow Cycling Holidays (http://hembrow.eu/cycling/) for running the tour and showing us round<br />The Cycling Embassy of Great Britain (http://www.cycling-embassy.org.uk/) for organising the visit.<br />http://cyclingdumfries.wordpress.com<br />

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