HW4 Delft Erin Dillmann
Although creating bike lanes in a narrow road to separate cyclists and cars creates a less stressful ride, the experience is overall more uncomfortable than riding in completely separated cycle tracks. At the intersection of Buitenhofdreef and Martinus Nijhofflaan, the bike lane on Martinus Nijhofflaan was between the right hand turn lane and the through lane. Although the cyclist must ride between two cars for a brief period of time, it is more convenient for the cyclist at the intersection because he does not have to worry about being hit by a turning car. It seemed that the street was one of the older ones in Delft, indicated by the lack of coloring in the bike lane on Martinus Nijhofflaan. In addition, only 4.8’ was allocated to the bike lane, suggesting that the bike infrastructure in this area was created after the road and confined to the existing dimensions of the road (Figure 1).
At the intersection of Nassaulaan and Julianalaan, there were pocket bike lanes that allowed cyclists to turn left more easily, adding to the comfort of the lanes, especially since there was heavy traffic. However, after crossing the intersection, the rider rides next to parked cars on one side, creating an additional risk of being doored that was not present in the bike lanes on Martinus Nijhofflaan (Figure 2). Since the road uses bike lanes instead of separated cycle tracks, it suggests that the road was originally intended for cars.
Traveling along Nassaulaan continues this bike lane in front of a school zone where the bike lane momentarily disappears and bikes share the road with cars because the speed limit is low enough (Figure 3). Since the road is a main through road, the school could not change the speed limit of the entire street; instead, there is a lower speed zone in front of the school where the bike lane disappears. The design of the road caters to the school, who want a lower speed limit for its students’ safety and to the drivers and cyclists who want to use the road as a thoroughfare. Although bike lanes save space and allow for the passage of both cars and bikes through an area, they are overall less comfortable to ride in than in a completely separated cycle track.
Figure 1: Bike lanes on Martinus Nijhoflaan
Figure 2: Bike lanes on Julianalaan
Figure 3: Bike lanes on Nassaulaan near the school zone
Advisory lanes provide comfort for riders on a narrow road with cars by creating a suggested space for each user to occupy. This bike infrastructure typically includes one-way suggestion lanes on each side with a central travel lane for cars without a central dividing line. The road with an advisory bike lane is typically not wide enough for two cars to pass each other without entering an advisory lane and function as a suggested space for cyclists to occupy (to the right of the dashed line) and for cars to occupy (on the side of the street where the cyclist is not). On Adriaan Pauwstraat, advisory lanes were created to add to cyclists’ comfort along the residential area while servicing the residents who travel by car. In addition, there is parking on each side of the street, catering to residents traveling by car and creating an additional risk of being hit by an opening car door. Based on the large number of cars parked on the side of the street, many residents own a car and need space to park it, resulting in a street where more space is allotted to cars and parking, detracting from bike infrastructure (Figure 4). Although the street has car traffic in both directions, the advisory lanes add comfort to cyclists because it provides a boundary against motor traffic, even if that boundary is only a dashed line.
Hugo de Grootstraat, a commercial street, services cars as a through road and the shops alongside it, the middle travel lane is wider to accommodate the increased volume compared to the residential road. Although the bike lanes are 0.4’ wider, this street is more uncomfortable to ride on than Adriaan Pauwstraat due to the increased traffic volume (Figure 5). Despite these characteristics, the advisory lanes were still better to ride in than in mixed traffic.
The final advisory lane studied, Schimmelpenninck van der Oyeweg, a local rural road uses advisory lanes because it is not a heavily trafficked street. Because this street has a much lower traffic volume than the other two (usually the cars that use this road have a destination on it) the advisory lanes are a much more effective solution. Cars are able to comfortably occupy the central space and only enter the advisory lane when passing each other. In addition, although this road is relatively flat and straight, cars do not drive fast on the road because of the frequent speed humps that force drivers to slow down (Figure 6). As a type of bike infrastructure, advisory lanes function best in narrow roads with low traffic volumes because they provide a separate space for cars and bikes to occupy.
Figure 4: Advisory lanes on Adriaan Pauwstraat
Figure 5: Advisory lanes on Hugo de Grootstraat
Figure 6: Advisory lanes on Schimmelpenninick van der Oyeweg
Service roads, roads with no markings on it to distinguish the space between cars and cyclists, are only acceptable in areas with little vehicle traffic, creating a comfortable environment for cyclists to ride. Service roads typically are along residential areas and service the residents that live there by car, as well as a through road for cyclists. The service road studied was narrow and had curves that forced drivers to slow down creating a comfortable environment for cyclists (Figure 7). These roads are effective bike infrastructure because the drivers that use this road are the ones that live there, meaning that there are fewer cars coming in and out of driveways, decreasing the amount of traffic volume. Due to the low traffic speeds, service roads are acceptable bike infrastructure and do not cause the rider to experience great stress.
Figure 7: Service road in residential neighborhood
Bike boulevards, a bike route that follows calm, local streets, create an effective through path for cyclists to ride without the stress present when riding in mixed traffic. One example of a bike boulevard, Buitenwatersloot, rides parallel to Hugo de Grootstraat, a main through rode with advisory bike lanes. Because the car traffic is mostly shifted to Hugo de Grootstraat, Buitenwatersloot is used as a calm through street for cyclists and pedestrians. Although car traffic is allowed on this street, it is inconvenient for cars to travel here because of the narrow road and frequent speed humps. Although there is parking on both sides of the street, cyclists usually do not have to worry about being doored because there is low turn over and there is very low car volume so cyclists can ride in the middle of the street without worry. The parked cars also limit traveling cars’ speed because they narrow the road, creating a safer environment for cyclists (Figure 8).
Abtswoude Path, a bike boulevard that connects TU Delft and Pr Beatrixlaan is a strictly pedestrian and bike path converted from a tunnel that serviced cars. This path provides a direct route from the shopping center to the university for pedestrians and cyclists. It is an extremely comfortable bike path to ride on because of the lack of cars and the wide lane (15.3’). It promotes cycling since cars would have to travel around the path onto one of the main roads to get to the area of the university (Figure 9).
Figure 8: Bike boulevard on Buitenwatersloot
Figure 9: Bike boulevard connecting TU Delft to Pr Beatrixlaan
Cycle tracks use vertical separation or an unpaved area to completely separate cyclists from motor vehicles, creating an extremely stress-free ride. Ruys de Beerenbrouckstraat, a road that services through traffic and residents, uses cycle tracks as a means of separation since it has heavier car traffic than a street with only bike lanes. The separate cycle tracks mean that the riders only have to interact with cars at intersections, reducing the amount of conflict between cars and cyclists which reduces the possibility of severe collisions. This road also services pedestrian crossings by slowing the cars down with raised crossings and curves. Although these techniques do not matter much to the cyclist because he is completely separated by 3’-4’ of grass, this road better serves its residents by making pedestrian crossings less dangerous (Figure 10). In addition, the road services both through traffic and residents by creating different “zones” for each function. When traveling through the residential area, the street paving changes from black asphalt to red stamped asphalt to create bumps and slow down vehicles in front of the residential area. The road indicates to drivers that they can increase their speeds because they are not in front of shops or houses when the road changes to black asphalt.
On Voorhofdreef, two-way cycle tracks are on both sides of the road, allowing for cyclists to travel both directions without crossing the street. If the cycle tracks were one-way on both sides of the road, cyclists would have to cross the street depending on which side of the road they were coming from which creates more potential with collision for cars. Therefore, the only time cyclists conflicted with cars were at intersections. Since some intersections were not signalized, priority was given to cyclists. If priority was given to cars at these intersections, cyclists would have higher risk at intersections because the car could go without searching for cyclists. By using the shark teeth and giving priority to cyclists, cars know that they must be vigilant and ensure no cyclists are present before turning (Figure 11). The final cycle track on Papsouwselaan provides comfortable access to the shops along the street for cyclists due to its complete separation. These cycle tracks would not be possible if the road was not wide enough to accommodate them. Because the road is along shops, cars and the tram travel along them to provide travelers access (Figure 12). Cycle tracks are very comfortable to ride on due to the complete separation from traffic, resulting in minimal conflicts between cars and bikes.
Figure 10: Cycle tracks on Ruys de Beerenbrouckstraat
Figure 11: Cycle tracks on Voorhofdreef
Figure 12: Cycle tracks on Papsouwselaan
A bike highway—similar to a highway for cars—allows cyclists to travel quickly between cities with limited stops, making intercity travel via bike faster and easier. N470 bike highway services intercity travel for cyclists by following the existing highway, creating a direct route without many stop for cyclists, which is the most efficient way to travel between cities. The bike highway is also very wide, making it comfortable for riding in groups to the major cities. In addition, there is about 5 feet of vertical separation and a significant horizontal separation between the bike highway and the freeway, and therefore the bikes do not have to worry about the motorway beside it at all. However, a bike highway is not always possible because its large cost from building and lighting it (Figure 13). If the proper funds are available, bike highways are a comfortable and efficient way to travel between cities via bike.
Figure 13: Bike highway alongside N470