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De fietsbruggen van Kopenhagen

Fietsberaad - 21 hours 2 min ago

Kopenhagen zoekt de oplossing voor overvolle en gevaarlijke fietsroutes onder andere in de aanleg van speciale fietsbruggen. Marie Kastrup, de Bicycle Program Manager van Kopenhagen geeft een video-rondleiding.

Categories: News

De fietsbruggen van Kopenhagen

Fietsberaad - 21 hours 2 min ago

Kopenhagen zoekt de oplossing voor overvolle en gevaarlijke fietsroutes onder andere in de aanleg van speciale fietsbruggen. Marie Kastrup, de Bicycle Program Manager van Kopenhagen, geeft een video-rondleiding.

Categories: News

Grade-separated cycling infrastructure (43-years-old) in Eindhoven

BicycleDutch - 22 August, 2016 - 23:01
An urban traffic circle with up to 4 lanes for motor traffic is rare in the Netherlands, but at least it comes with a whole different level for cycling. The … Continue reading →
Categories: Views

A great weekend in Germany. The Big Oldenburg Recumbent Meeting and a piece about "Bike Culture"

A View from the Cycle Path - 19 August, 2016 - 22:53
It's a few months now since I first read about the Großes Oldenburger Liegeradtreffen (big Oldenburg Recumbent Meeting). That this event was going to happen came at me from three directions at once: It was listed on the ligfiets.net website, and two friends who also had an interest (Theo who is local and Klaas who I know from Cambridge but who now lives in Oldenburg). Thanks to the Schengen David Hembrowhttps://plus.google.com/114578085331408050106noreply@blogger.com0http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2016/08/a-great-weekend-in-germany-big.html
Categories: Views

Duits onderzoek: hogere benzineprijs leidt tot meer fietsgebruik

Fietsberaad - 19 August, 2016 - 11:07

Er bestaat een duidelijke relatie tussen de benzineprijs en het fietsgebruik in de stad. Op het platteland is de benzineprijs echter nauwelijks van invloed.

Categories: News

Een rit over snelfietsroute Oss - 's Hertogenbosch

Fietsberaad - 18 August, 2016 - 01:00

De snelfietsroute Oss – ‘s-Hertogenbosch is 20 kilometer lang en verbindt station ‘s-Hertogenbosch met station Oss. Een videoimpressie laat zien wat er nieuw is op de route.

Categories: News

Driverless cars and the sacred cow problem

John Adams - 17 August, 2016 - 17:55

The promoters of driverless cars have demonstrated remarkable progress in their ability to program their vehicles to respond with extreme deference to pedestrians, cyclists, and cars with human drivers. Such programming confers sacred cow status on all road users not in self-driving vehicles. The developers of autonomous vehicles acknowledge the need for new road safety rules to accommodate these revolutionary vehicles on public highways. But would-be regulators have yet to propose a set of rules that would allow these sacred cows to move about freely in dense urban areas without creating a state of deferential paralysis for those in autonomous vehicles.

Full essay here

Categories: Views

Institutional priorities

As Easy As Riding A Bike - 17 August, 2016 - 16:13

A few months ago I attended the Hackney Cycling Conference, and heard a presentation by Robin Lovelace, entitled Cycling and transport policy: embedding active travel in every stage of the planning process.

Unsurprisingly – given the title – there was an interesting section of the talk on how weakly embedded walking and cycling is within the Department for Transport. In particular, Robin focused on the board structure of the Department, showing precisely how small a priority these important modes of transport are within it. He used the equivalent of the chart below, which has of course changed following the cabinet reshuffle.

Click to embiggen

Out of all the people shown on this chart, just one civil servant – highlighted right at the bottom – has explicit responsibility for walking and cycling.

We can see this more clearly by zooming in on this bottom left section.

Tellingly, ‘Local Transport’ is itself embedded within the ‘Roads, Devolution and Motoring Group’, and even within ‘Local Transport’ walking and cycling comes right at the bottom – not even mentioned explicitly by name, instead bundled up as ‘sustainable accessible travel’. It really is the lowest of the low.

Given this structure, is it any surprise that walking and cycling garner so little attention and such low levels of investment, despite their fundamental importance?

"The structure of the institution [the DfT] is not designed to deal with the transport problems we are facing" @robinlovelace #ibikehackney

— Mark Treasure (@AsEasyAsRiding) June 10, 2016

The priorities of the Department for Transport also emerge from the imagery they use. This stock photo – spotted by @AlternativeDfT – appears frequently on their website.

@transportgovuk strikes again with their wonderful vision for UK roads. Note illegally stopped taxi at bottom! pic.twitter.com/7XOZFUb9

— The Alternative DfT (@AlternativeDfT) December 14, 2012

Amongst other things, it has been used for road safety announcements –

… and, amazingly, even for an announcement of Local Sustainable Transport Funding.

The junction shown in the photograph is Tower Gateway, right by the Tower of London. It is a particularly revealing choice, because while the photograph shows motor traffic smoothly flowing across the junction, it is a truly dreadful environment for walking and cycling.

To take just one example, let’s imagine we wanted to walk from the left of the photograph, to the right – from the north side of Mansell Street, to the Tower of London. You might imagine you could just cross the road in one go – the green arrow. But as it turns out travelling this short distance actually involves eight separate pedestrian crossings.

This is how pedestrians are expected to cross the road at a junction the Department for Transport has chosen to illustrate its role. Needless to say the cycling environment is, if anything, even worse – a vast expanse of tarmac, shared with HGVs and heavy traffic, somewhere only a small minority of people would even consider cycling in the first place. The east-west superhighway does now run across the top of this junction – with improved pedestrian crossings to the west – but that’s about it. Anyone cycling here has essentially been abandoned.

This isn’t just any junction; it’s a junction in the heart of our capital city, a place teeming with people. It’s somewhere that walking and cycling should be explicitly prioritised. But instead people walking and cycling here are treated with contempt – marginalised, and ignored. And this is the image of transport that the DfT is using.

The priorities that this junction embodies are an exact parallel of the board structure of the organisation. Cycling and walking as an afterthought, if that, the very bottom of the heap when it comes to consideration. And this is how the Department of Transport will continue to function, without institutional change. Still stuck in the past, still focused on prioritising motoring at the expense of sensible, space-efficient ways of making short trips, the kinds of trips that form the bulk of all the trips we make.


Categories: Views

Fiets Telweek 2016 start met werving deelnemers

Fietsberaad - 16 August, 2016 - 01:00

De Nationale Fiets Telweek organiseert in de derde week van september weer het grote nationale fietsonderzoek. Door middel van een onderzoeksapp wordt het dagelijkse fietsgedrag van de deelnemers één week lang in kaart gebracht. 

Categories: News

The – almost finished – F59 from ʼs-Hertogenbosch to Oss

BicycleDutch - 15 August, 2016 - 23:01
The fast cycle route between ʼs-Hertogenbosch and Oss will be officially opened next month. What is already finished today though, is impressive enough to show you now. The first part … Continue reading →
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Dagelijks 271 aangiften van fietsdiefstal

Fietsberaad - 15 August, 2016 - 10:43

Het aantal aangiften van fietsendiefstal is in 2015 gedaald naar 98.916 t.o.v. van 103.153 in het jaar daarvoor. Ook het eerste halfjaar van 2016 laat een daling zien van zo’n 9 procent.

Categories: News

Het blijft uitkijken op een e-fiets

Fietsberaad - 12 August, 2016 - 01:00

Op een e-fiets loop je toch wat meer kans op een onvoorziene confrontatie met een auto dan op een gewone fiets, blijkt uit een Zweedse studie.

Categories: News

Danish mayors: Proof that cycling is healthy

Cycling Embassy of Denmark - 11 August, 2016 - 15:08

During May, seven Danish mayors from the region around Copenhagen proved that it really pays to switch out passive transportation with a bicycle. For a month the mayors took part in ‘The Mayors Challenge’, meaning they left their cars at home for a month, and pedalled to work instead whenever their schedules allowed them to. […]

The post Danish mayors: Proof that cycling is healthy appeared first on Cycling Embassy of Denmark.

Categories: News

New type of exercise-app gets Denmark cycling

Cycling Embassy of Denmark - 11 August, 2016 - 15:03

Unique app combines automatic tracking with targeted coaching – and the whole of Denmark is cycling along. The app “Ta’ Cyklen” (Get Cycling) has been downloaded almost 14.000 times in four weeks. The goal of the app was 10.000 downloads – a goal that was reached within the first two weeks. The campaign Health issues due to inactivity […]

The post New type of exercise-app gets Denmark cycling appeared first on Cycling Embassy of Denmark.

Categories: News

A visit to the Leeds-Bradford Cycle Superhighway

As Easy As Riding A Bike - 11 August, 2016 - 02:55

Last month I took the opportunity to cycle along the Leeds-Bradford cycle superhighway, kindly escorted by Martin Stanley of Leeds Cycling Campaign. While London’s cycling new infrastructure is hitting the headlines, there are other projects taking place elsewhere in the country, of which this is one of the more high profile (albeit for perhaps not all the right reasons).

Indeed, I did go with very low expectations – I’d seen the pictures being shared on social media and on blogs of what can only be described as very poor infrastructure. And it has to be said that the route between the two cities is not of a high quality, certainly nowhere near as high as the routes being built in London. Perhaps a lower level of quality might be expected given the lower level of expertise and investment, along with some ‘higher order’ problems we’ll come to in this post. But what was particularly frustrating for me wasn’t actually the low quality. It was the inconsistency. Some sections have been built and designed reasonably well. But other sections – dealing with identical problems – have been bodged, and bodged badly, which left me wondering why a more consistent level of quality couldn’t have been achieved.

We’ll come to these issues, and others, in the post, but all the same I did come away from the day cycling to Bradford and back feeling a little positive. This was, perhaps, just because the sun had come out in the afternoon, on what had started as a miserable day. But mainly I think it was because, despite all the flaws of this northern ‘superhighway’, I had managed to travel by bike between the two cities in some comfort, and with a reasonable degree of safety. Roads that I wouldn’t even have considered cycling on for pleasure, and would have struggled to justify cycling on for practical purposes – fast, busy roads – now have somewhere that it feels safe and comfortable to cycle, for the most part, and for all the flaws. That means cycling is a possibility, not just for more confident types like me, but for everyone else.

Despite the route only just having opened – and despite the bad weather earlier in the day – we did see people starting to use the cycling infrastructure. Not in huge numbers, admittedly, but enough to indicate that there is potential to shift and change behaviour, and the way people travel about.

 

So, the good news is that there is now a long route consisting almost entirely of protected infrastructure, that could open up cycling as a mode of transport for ordinary people.

The bad news, however, is that the quality is patchy, and in places actually quite dangerous. As I’ve mentioned already, the frustrating thing is the inconsistency, in that good design and build quality was interspersed with bad. I’m not sure why this was the case; it might be the inevitable consequence of having to build what amounts to quite a long route from A to B in a short space of time, with a fixed budget, starting essentially from a very low base in terms of experience, knowledge and expertise in building cycling infrastructure – a problem I suspect that is pervasive across Britain, just because there is so little good stuff, and so few people building it. It also seems to stem from what I have heard is a reluctance to impinge on driving in any way along this route, which means that compromises on quality will be inevitable.

The reluctance to give even an inch to cycling from motoring led in many places to quite comical outcomes.

The photograph shows that, alongside a six-lane road for motor traffic, not only will users have to swerve around traffic light posts right in the middle of the cycleway, they will then have to deal with a ‘door zone’ (indicated by the pale surfacing) created by new parking bays installed on the road – parking bays that didn’t exist before, and that, if in use, will actually block in people parking legitimately off the carriageway. In the context of such an enormous road this is very thin gruel indeed, especially when we consider that on the opposite side we have to put up with just a shared use footway.

The bus stop bypasses are definitely one of the more serious problems. Some of them are again just comically bad, absurdly narrow for one-way cycling, let alone two-way cycling.

Yes, that is a two-way cycleway

At one of these stops, I heard a couple of men waiting fora bus grumbling about how ‘they hate cyclists – they’re even on the pavement now’ as we rolled past, and it was easy to understand the source of their annoyance, given that we were almost trundling on their toes, by design.

In most of these cases, the failure to design a proper bus stop bypass, with adequate space for all users, seems to have flowed either from the aforementioned reluctance to take any space from motor traffic, or to spend any money adjusting kerb lines, or both – with, frankly, very silly results.

That’s just one lane of motor traffic on the right, heading away from the camera. The ‘bypass’ is at most 18 inches wide

The surfacing was also frustratingly bad. While very smooth in many places, other sections had a dreadful surface, that looked like it had been shovelled in and patted down – usually next to a beautifully smooth road surface.

The rain earlier in the day was at least helpful in showing up surface deficiencies

Why could some parts be surfaced well, and others not? Did some contractors just not care?

Another problem with inconsistency – and a more dangerous one – is the design of many of the side road treatments, where the cycleway (either in uni-directional, or bi-directional form) crosses side roads. This was where the inconsistency was particularly stark. Some were designed reasonably well, with at least some degree of visual continuity, and the kerbs only stopping at the junction, ensuring that the geometry for drivers is reasonably tight.

But far too many junctions appear to have adopted a design technique that involves simply stopping the kerbs some 20 or 30 metres before the junction, dumping you out onto a cycle lane, which felt horribly exposed.

This is, I suspect, the dead hand of LTN 2/08 informing design, with its recommendation that cyclists should be ‘reintroduced to the main road’ before a junction, passing the junction ‘on the carriageway’. Presumably the intention is to ‘reintegrate’ anyone cycling with motor traffic before the junction, but in reality no ‘reintegration’ or ‘reintroduction’ will take place. You are just left at the side of the road with no engineering or design to slow or modify the behaviour of drivers turning across your path. It’s bad, and dangerous, we simply shouldn’t be building junctions like this in 2016. We need continuity, clear priority, and design that slows drivers, and makes them careful. Not this.

There are other (admittedly less serious) problems with visual continuity at side roads. Treatments that could work well are undermined by markings that still suggest people cycling should yield, when they shouldn’t.

Double yellows, the green paint and the kerb line all remove any visual continuity and priority for cycling

The same problem again. Note that this is an exit-only side road

Other mistakes point to a lack of experience in how to design for cycling. One stood out for me, shown in the photograph below.

Here the cycleway (on the right) could merge into the cul-de-sac, a low traffic environment that could very easily form part of the route. Yet instead the designers have opted to continue the cycleway on a tiny, thin stretch of pavement on the right, sandwiched between parked cars and fast motor traffic only a few feet to the right.

Signs telling you where to go are helpful – but not when they are positioned right in the middle of where you actually want to cycle.

Again, this points to a lack of experience in considering the specific needs and requirements of cycling as mode of transport, along with designing a cycleway that bumps up and down for every single residential entrance, leaving a corrugated cycleway!

One final, major problem is the town centre of Stanningley, about halfway along the route. Here there simply isn’t room for cycling infrastructure, so in brute terms the town has a motor traffic problem. There’s too much motor traffic on the high street, especially given the town has a bypass.

This motor traffic problem hasn’t been resolved. Instead the road through the town has been given a nice new gravel-infused tarmac surface (tellingly, the smoothest tarmac of the entire Leeds-Bradford superhighway!).

And the junctions in the town have been replaced with some very superficial hints at ‘shared space’ in roundabout form, a design that offers very little comfort to anyone cycling or walking. We saw an elderly lady hesitantly and very nervously attempting to cross the road here. To my mind a series of zebra crossings on the desire lines at the junction would be much more useful, and more beneficial to cycling too than the current half-hearted markings that are something of a free-for-all.

But really the problem is one of an excess of motor traffic – putting down nice, village-ish markings on what remains a very busy road won’t turn your town into a nice village, nor will it actually help people trying to get about within it on foot, or by bike. That motor traffic needs to be diverted onto the bypass, with access retained for residents and people visiting shops and properties.

More broadly, this fudge hints at some of the underlying problems with creating a high profile ‘route’ between two cities in a short space of time, given the inevitable problems of experience and expertise, combined with constraints imposed by councils unwilling to adversely impact drivers to even the slightest degree.

I came away from my visit to Leeds and Bradford with very mixed feelings. Positively, the route demonstrates that things can happen in other towns and cities across Britain, away from London, which attracts so much attention. Infrastructure can be built that will open up cycling as a mode of transport to people who might never have considered it. And there is at least now something established on the ground along these roads, good in places, bad in others, but something that can be improved upon.

On the negative side, the Leeds-Bradford cycleway demonstrates to me the need for clear, strong leadership in design, investment and implementation, to ensure that money being spent on cycling isn’t wasted on poor (and even dangerous) designs that will inevitably have to be fixed at a later date, as I suspect is true for a good deal of the route. It also demonstrates the need for clear political leadership at a national and local level, leadership that makes the case for modal shift, is willing to make tough choices in favour of it, and to face up to objections.


Categories: Views

Three Design Elements for Safer Intersections

Copenhagenize - 10 August, 2016 - 09:16
Safety at the World's Busiest Cycle Intersection (Copenhagen) from STREETFILMS on Vimeo.


Our friend Clarence of Street Films fame was in town last week to further showcase what makes Copenhagen such a life-sized city. This wasn’t his first time. Just a couple years ago we showed him around, checking out the innovative infrastructure that treats bicycle riders with respect. And before that, we showed Street Films around for Cycling in Copenhagen, through North American Eyes.

This time around we thought we’d zoom in a little, taking a more detailed look at the unsung hero of any intuitive and reliable cycle network, the intersection. We met early Friday morning at Søtorvet, the world’s busiest bicycle intersection, with 42,600 bicycle riders every day. 86 percent of all traffic moving through Søtorvet is by bicycle! And don’t think this impressive split is just the status quo, or a fluke. Nope, the City of Copenhagen has made a series of strategic decisions over the past ten years, including widened cycle tracks, public transport investments, and traffic calming initiatives, to encourage the logical modes of transportation.

With such heavy traffic flows, it’s incredibly important to design an intersection that is logical, intuitive, and safe. And one of the simplest ways to insure safety, is to ensure bicycle riders are visible! Three simple design interventions, set back stop-lines, dedicated bicycle signals, and cycle crossing guides, are observed in many Copenhagen intersections and can go a long way in making all road users more comfortable.

Set back stop-lines - This simple design measure improves safety without making any impact on travel times for cars. Setting the stop line for cars five metres behind the cycle stop line ensures, at the very least, that cyclists will be out of the blind spots for a lorry waiting to turn right. Whatsmore, set back stop lines make pedestrians more visible as well.



Dedicated bicycle signals - By giving cyclists their own dedicated traffic signals, both bicycle riders and cars feel more secure travelling through an intersection. The signals are typically placed lower than those directed to cars, putting them directly in the line of sight of the typical cyclist, at least 1.5 metres from the cycle track.

A simple benefit of having dedicated signals is to get cyclists out into the intersection just a couple seconds before cars. This ensures that cyclists are out of any possible blind spots and highly visible. Once the dedicated signal for cyclists has finished, cars are then allowed a couple additional seconds to clear the intersection and complete turns. Like at Søtorvet, dedicated bicycle signals can also easily be combined with set back stop-lines to further improve safety and sense of security.



Blue cycle crossing guides - Once traffic is moving through the intersection, blue cycle crossings help maintain visibility, informing all modes where to expect bicycle traffic. As a colour choice, blue (unlike red for example) tends to age well, maintaining its vibrancy through its lifetime. Danish studies have shown that no more than two blue cycle crossings should be added to one intersection. Any more and the intersection becomes overly cluttered and, in turn, not as safe.



These three design elements are only a few of the simple, yet effective, design elements that go a long way in making a legitimate choice of transportation here in Copenhagen. Depending on the size, capacity, and speed of each intersection, there’s always a design oriented solution.Copenhagenize the planet. And have a lovely day.
Categories: Views

Fietsers overschatten hun eigen rijvaardigheid

Fietsberaad - 10 August, 2016 - 01:00

Wat fietsers vinden van hun eigen rijgedrag, zegt niet zoveel over hun werkelijke gedrag. Net als bij automobilisten, zegt de meerderheid dat ze beter rijden dan gemiddeld.

Categories: News

New bicycle passage in Tilburg

BicycleDutch - 8 August, 2016 - 23:01
Tilburg is redeveloping its station area. Something that currently happens in many cities in the Netherlands. While the Dutch railways are modernising and restoring the 1960s Tilburg railway building, the … Continue reading →
Categories: Views

Santiago de Chile wins award with cycling games in kindergartens

Cycling Embassy of Denmark - 8 August, 2016 - 12:10

At the World Bike Forum in Santiago, Lotte Bech of Cycling Embassy of Denmark, and the local organization Bicivilizate initiated a cycling training program in kindergartens. This was recognized as one of the reasons for awarding the City of Santiago the 2017 International Sustainable Transport Award. Cycling Games in kindergartens The organizers of the World […]

The post Santiago de Chile wins award with cycling games in kindergartens appeared first on Cycling Embassy of Denmark.

Categories: News

Better bike solutions by including pupils

Cycling Embassy of Denmark - 8 August, 2016 - 11:58

The company ’Traffic at Children’s Height’ (Trafik i Børnehøjde in Danish) has developed a method to handle problems surrounding school roads. The method puts traffic on the schools’ agenda by including pupils in its traffic solutions. In Traffic at Children’s Height we have used two years to develop a concept which can handle the behaviour, […]

The post Better bike solutions by including pupils appeared first on Cycling Embassy of Denmark.

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