The Ranty Highwayman)
(see all images at link to original article)
Well, all good things must come to an end and this week’s post will be my final one from the Netherlands. It’s an assortment of things which I thought were interesting, but probably not worth a post on their own.
OK, perhaps I could have made this into a post because I saw lots of roadworks, with much of it linked to new development. The interesting thing is that the Dutch seem to favour putting in the infrastructure before people have moved in rather than the UK approach which is often the other way around.
This housing development in south-east Amsterdam already has cycle track access which has probably be in a couple of years given the asphalt has faded a bit.
Some large motorway construction (widening of the A9) in south-east Amsterdam, but cycle access is maintained through the works. In fact, people cycling are well-protected with concrete barriers.
“Pay Attention” – a sign aimed at construction vehicle drivers turning right into the site access ahead. Compare with the UK which makes the vulnerable user responsible for looking out for traffic.
The scheme involves some heavy civil engineering and is another example of how the Dutch are building roads. That’s right, in the land of the bicycle, there is a lot of motorway building going on.
In another part of the city, more housing is being built. The cycle track here is a series of precast concrete slabs laid as a temporary route. The tram line in the grass isn’t a relic of a former industrial area it is already in place (connecting to the tram depot outside the city).
Where there isn’t a cycle track, people cycling divert onto new residential streets while reconstruction works on the main road takes place.
On the outskirts of Driemond a junction and bridge is under reconstruction. Of course, there is a route through for people cycling.
The diversion includes a floating pontoon for people walking and cycling. Since we visited the works are complete, but the project has it’s own Twitter feed!
As you might expect, in a nation where so many journeys are made by cycle, the odd parking space is needed. This one at Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen in Amsterdam is rather large!
For cycling, it’s the attention to detail I liked. Here, we have a two-way cycle track passing a retail park. the track is inset from the main road so that drivers turning in can stop before the enter the site because the cycle track has priority. The track then has little protected slip roads into and out of the site where it becomes an advisory lane within the retail park.
On the edge of Hengsdijk, we have a road on which through-traffic (including motorcycles) is banned, unless you have a right of access. You can of course cycle along here – in fact this is the cycle route as the parallel road doesn’t have a cycle track and so cycling is prohibited.
THERE’S A FREAKING CYCLE TRACK THROUGH THE MUSEUM!
So, I didn’t actually go into the Rijksmuseum itself, but with #TheDoodle in the clogbike, we cycled through the middle of it. Oh yes. The end (for now)
As I said at the start of this series, there was a health warning because the things I have written about have come through a tourist’s eyes. I cannot possibly know the minutiae of Dutch highway engineering from a fortnight. However, the trip has been a revelation (and that’s about as divine I get).
As a designer, the genie escaped the bottle after seeing some of the best UK cycling infrastructure. After my trip to the Netherlands, the genie is half-way to the German border. On a magic bakfiets.
The other parts to this series are as follows;