HW4 Delft Rick Anderson
Bicycle boulevards are typically historic roadways adapted to serve through bicycle traffic and are considered quiet ways or local roads as motor vehicle speed is minimal. Motor vehicle traffic is discouraged by limiting the travelable distance and speed of cars and increasing the convenience for bicyles.
At stop one, the route is extremely convenient for bicyclist as cars and pedestrian activity is minimal. In addition, there are only a few intersections that need to be crossed as the route uses bridges and tunnels. At its intersection with Papsouwselaan, the amount of lanes needed to cross by bicycle traffic was reduced from four travel lanes to just two. As a result, traffic speed decreased and cars were more willing to stop for bicycle traffic. Furthermore, the path is 14.2 feet wide making it safe, easy, and comfortable to navigate. However, along the stores, bicycle traffic is forced to share the road with car traffic to allow for storefront and residential parking. In terms of safety, the route is low-stress as there is no thru car traffic and encounters with cars are at low speeds. Specific design elements that enhance safety include a wide path, multiple signs at intersections and physical barriers to prohibit car traffic. It is crucial that the path both appears and is safe as it is one of the main east/west connectors to Delft University.
Stop number five, Buitenwatersloot, differs from stop one as the route runs along a canal and is narrower near the on-street parking. In order to reduce the speed of cars traveling to these parking spots, speed humps and a change in pavement type are used on the route east of Krakeelponderweg. In addition, it is prohibitive for cars to travel along certain parts of the path; a video surveillance system is used to catch and fine violators. In regards to safety, the path is virtually free of moving car traffic and the only dangerous vehicles to watch out for are motorized scooters. Also, the type of intersections that cross the path are local streets, too. Consequently, turning vehicles are of little concern. Although contraflow is allowed on the route, car traffic appears to be moving at the same speed or slower than bicycles, so head-on collisions with bicyclist are likely rare.
Cycle tracks act as means of separating bicycle and motor vehicle traffic. Typically, the separation is both in the vertical and horizontal direction.
Stop number two, Papsouwselaan, contains two-way cycle tracks on both sides of the road that act to serve bicycle, car, and tram traffic. As there are few intersections, a two-way cycle track works well in this setting. To find space for the cycle track, the existing road underwent a road diet and was reduced from a four lane road to just two lanes and a cycle track on both sides of the road. The car travel lanes are 10.6 feet wide and the cycle track is 10.0 feet wide. In the central zone, buses and trams share space. The narrow lane width of the travel lanes forces drivers to drive slowly in order to keep their vehicle centered in the lane. The cycle tracks are also vertically separated from both motor vehicles and pedestrians as it is set at an intermediate level. Further along down the route, there is a roundabout which has sharp, narrow entrances and exits (14.5 feet) and raised crossings for bicycle traffic. These traffic tools, reduce the speed of cars and signals that cars are entering bike territory and should yield, thus increasing the safety of bicycles, cars, and pedestrians alike. Overall, the path felt extremely safe and comfortable as conflicts with cars are well-managed and navigating the traffic circle is simple and has few interruptions.
Stop three, Voorhofdreef, has a similar cycle track to stop 2 except that the cycle track is mostly black pavement instead of red. At intersections, however, the pavement does change to red to alert turning car traffic to yield. Red pavement must not have been deemed necessary on this segment of the route as there are far fewer pedestrian crossings than the more commercial area along Papsouwselaan. The cycle track was more low-stress as there were fewer opportunities to cross paths with pedestrians. The cycle track works well for commuters traveling to northeast to Delft University as the bicycle boulevard connects directly to the cycle track.
Stop eight, Ruys de Beerenbrouckstraar was recently converted from bike lanes to cycle tracks and is a single two-way cycle track. The route attempts to slow traffic down more than the previous two cycle tracks as there are likely more pedestrian crossings. Multiple tools are used to aid in safe pedestrian crossing, including crossing tables and traffic islands. Traffic islands allow for one lane to be crossed at a time and create an S-curve to slow traffic while crossing tables alert drivers of possible pedestrian conflicts. In addition, a 2.3 foot cobblestone berm, median and 1.0 foot edge zone pavers are used to reduce the visual width of the lane and to further reduce speeds. Lastly, cars are provided a waiting area while turning into the grocery store so that they are able to accurately find openings in pedestrian traffic. Bicycle traffic is also given tools to help safety, such as crossing table to alert turning vehicles and a sloped curb to eliminate pedal/curb conflicts.
Bicycle lanes are used to create cheap bicycle space that pushes traveling vehicles towards the median and parked vehicles towards the curb. Bicycle lanes are almost created on existing roads where financial or physical constraints disallow physical separation between traffic. As a result, out of all the bike facilities, the bike lane feels the least safe.
At stop number four, the bike lane is blocked by construction at times. As a result, bikes are forced to leave the bike lane and encroach onto territory that would appear to belong to motor vehicles. However, bicyclists were at no time riding alongside more than one lane of fast moving traffic. For example, at the intersection near stop 4b, a pocket bike lane is used to limit the speed of right turning traffic. The lane appears near the intersection which does not allow motor vehicles the chance to accelerate. In addition, it is necessary for car traffic to cross bike traffic. As a result, car traffic is aware that it needs to yield to bike traffic travel through the intersection. Furthermore, colored pavement reinforces that the bicyclist has “defensible space.” The space is allocated so that the bike lane along the route is 5.0 feet and the travel lane is 13.0. It would seem that the travel lane is too wide for its use next to a bike lane. Consequently, speeding would be encouraged as drivers would feel safe and bicyclists’ safety would decrease.
Stop number nine, Nassaulaan, has narrower motor vehicle travel lanes through the use of a wider median. Therefore, the speed of traffic alongside bicyclists is reduced. Unfortunately, unlike stop four, bicyclists are forced to ride alongside parked vehicles with the bike lane within a narrow reach from the curb. The turn-over rate of parked vehicles seemed as though it is high as there are few residential buildings along the route. Overall, the stop nine feels fairly safe for bicyclist, but less safe for crossing pedestrians. Although the route contained traffic islands, there were no crossing tables or pavement changes to alert drivers to stop, possibly because the road appears to be a principle neighborhood road
Stop number ten, Julianalaan, on the other hand, appears to be closer to a local street and contained a school zone. Similarly, parked vehicles are allowed on parts of the street. At the school zone many devices are used to alert drivers of the school zone which include a change of pavement, a speed hump, and road. Inside the school zone, the route becomes unlaned and the bike lane disappears. The disappearance of the lane had little effect on the feeling of safety from a bicyclist’s perspective. Uniquely, the bike lane on this route had its own speed humps to alert bikers of conflicts at bus stops. As a whole, stop ten felt safer than stop nine as there are fewer vehicles and the bicycle lanes are wider, 5.5 feet versus 4.7 feet. To allow for such a wide bike lane, space needed to be taken away from motor vehicles which further increased the safety of bikes.
Advisory lanes or suggested lanes are used a lot on historic road conversions both in an urban and rural setting. Cars are forced to share the space with opposing car traffic and bicycle traffic. As a result, it is not uncommon for cars to reduce their speed to below 5 mph to allow for opposing traffic to pass.
Stop number six, Hugo de Grootstraat, appears to be nearly wide enough to allow for divided motor vehicle traffic and narrower bike lanes, but due to dimensional constraints from historic buildings and possible parking requirements, advisory lanes were used instead. The route consists of two, 5.0 foot advisory lanes separated by a 16.5 foot central zone with parking on either side. There are multiple raised pedestrian crossings to slow the speed of traffic, thus reducing the likelihood of a fatal crash. Overall, the profile works well for bi-directional car traffic and feels safe for bicyclists, too.
Stop seven, is significantly narrower than stop six. On-street parking is still used along the route and as a result, a 10.5 foot central zone is used. The narrower central zone appears to have little impact on car traffic as opposing traffic can still not pass each other. Although the central zone is narrower, cars seem more cautious when traveling along the route and thus speeds are reduced. The route also features raised pedestrian crossings and in one instance had a slight S-curve to also decrease motor vehicle speeds.
Stop eleven, Schimmelpenninck van der Oyeweg, is set more in rural setting and is straighter and longer than the other advisory lanes. Space appears to limited by canals on either side of the road. To limit speeding, speed humps are used somewhat infrequently on the long stretch of road and the central zone is somewhat narrow. In addition, the transition zone from a rural setting to a residential setting uses a traffic block in the form of a planter. The block forces cars traveling towards the residential setting to move to the left and slow down to fit between the obstacle and the curb. Although vehicles travel faster on this route, safety does not seem to be largely affected as cars can visually locate and avoid bicyclists from further along down the road. If the road were to be heavier in motor vehicle traffic, the safety of bicyclist could decrease. Even though the route is a major east/west connector, traffic is likely low since the road connects two neighborhoods.
Service roads are designed to be low-stress bike paths, parallel to roads. They are great space savers as cars and bicyclist share space. Service roads are used by cars close to destinations and work best when there are few cars traveling at low speeds. Stop twelve, Zuidpoldersingel, featured a short service road that ran into a bike highway. The road was created using brick as a sign to cars that they should be traveling at low speeds. The road, which is 15.1 feet wide, not including parking, is probably too wide for an easy-way which can lead to increased motor vehicle speeds. A possible solution could be to add on street parking or landscaping on the other side of the street. However, the road feels safe to be on, as parked vehicles appear to have a low turn-over rate and the route cannot be used as a cut-through.
Bike highways are similar to bike boulevards as they both carry through bicycle traffic. However, bicycle highways are usually constructed on new, long right-of-ways and contain no motor vehicle traffic and practically zero intersections. The bike highway at stop eleven, N470, is a major east/west connector that runs along a motor vehicle flow road. The safety of the highway is largely unaffected by the flow road as there is a 5 foot berm and a large horizontal separation between the two. The route is by far the most convenient to use as it is wide, long, straight, smooth, and without curbs. These factors allow bikes to travel at high speeds with the ability to pass safely. As a result of being practically isolated, the bike highway was the safest and most convenient of all of the bicycle facilities.