One of my most viewed videos is an animation I made in 2011, showing that a common Dutch type of junction design with protected cycle tracks would in principle fit in American streets. To deal with many questions I showed real examples of that particular junction design in a second video. But there were still some unanswered questions that kept coming back and I had therefore planned to make a new follow-up to better explain this type of design. Then Dick van Veen, a Dutch senior city planner and traffic engineer at Mobycon asked me if he could use parts of both my videos for a project earlier this month in Canada. So I decided that the new video had to be made right now. My own ideas coupled with Dick’s professional expertise led to a new video which he has indeed used in a presentation. I heard it was very well received. I planned to publish a post with this new video on a later date.
But by sheer coincidence David Hembrow then published a follow-up, in which he states that this design is just one of many possible solutions for a junction and that people shouldn’t just focus on this particular solution alone. Then even more coincidental, my initial video got a lot of renewed attention when Nick Falbo published his interpretation of the design and the way it could be implemented in the US. After these publications a lot was written all over the internet in comments, tweets and forum discussions. Prof. Peter Furth from Boston’s Northeastern University showed me some of the questions he had received directly, with his answers that I fully agreed with. With such a commotion it is high time I publish my own follow-up video with an explaining post. So here we go!
Common Dutch Road Design
There are many questions about the status of this design. How common or standard is it? David Hembrow argues it is not the only solution and it is in fact not the most used solution in the area where he lives. I agree with the response of Prof. Peter Furth to this: “That’s true in smaller cities, which have few major traffic roads and where signalized intersections have been replaced with roundabouts in great numbers. But in larger cities, cycle tracks along the main arteries are routine, as are signalized intersections where such arteries meet. And wherever traffic arteries with cycle tracks meet at a signalized intersection, this is the routine, standard design. You can see scores of them in the Hague, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam.”
It is a fact that in the Dutch situation protected cycle tracks alongside main streets do not stop at junctions, but continue in one form or another on the junction itself, so that such a junction can be traversed by people of all ages and abilities (cycling or walking) in a safe and convenient way.
A real example of the same situation as portrayed in Nick Falbo’s video shows that he indeed got it right.