HW4 Delft Jesse Morrow
A bicycle highway allows for the 2 way travel of cyclists across long distances (often at the edge of town or connecting urban centers) while totally separated from vehicular traffic. This allows for vehicles to move quickly when a cycle highway is parallel to it, and in some cases allows for bicycles to take a shorter route than cars will have to drive.
Site 13: N470 bike highway
This image of a bicycle highway in a rural area shows both how important it is to connect urban centers with a bike network and how safe it can be to have cyclists close to a regional highway. The 2 way cycle highway is 10′ wide, allowing for cyclists to comfortably ride side by side, and streetlights are provided for riding at night. It is important that the regional highway is mostly restricted to 1 lane which reduces the speed of vehicles and that both vertical and horizontal separation exist between the highways for cars and cycles.
A common bike facility on roads that are more than 1 lane in each direction and/or where vehicles are expected to be moving through quickly. A cycle track is distinct from the vehicle lanes of a road by either vertical separation like a curb, a row of parking, or hedges and a varying amount of horizontal separation. In the Netherlands cycle tracks may be 1 way or 2 way depending on the space available and the function of the road, although other countries like Denmark only build cycle tracks as 1 way. In some cases a 2 way cycle track provides economy of space over providing a bicycle lane on each side of a road given the space required for cyclists to avoid the doors of parked cars or other hazards.
Site 2: Papsouwselaan
This collector road with a 2 way cycle track demonstrates how a road diet can reduce speeds and make pedestrian crossings/intersections safer. A major thing to note is where the curb of the side walk/cycle track extends out reducing the crossing for pedestrians to just 1 lane and also serving as a choke point that controls the speed of vehicles. Also because this is a faster moving road, there is a fair amount of horizontal and vertical separation between the travel lane and the cycle track including a row of parking, a 4″ curb, and a row of trees/streetlights. It also makes sense for this side of the road to have a 2 way cycle track because there is plenty of space for it and this is the busier side of the street with shops and restaurants.
Site 3: Voorhofdreef
This is a 2 lane road with a 1 way cycle track at an unsignaled intersection where the cycle track is given priority over turning vehicles. It is clear that most vehicles and bikes are expected to be traveling straight through this intersection, but in the case of right turning vehicles from this lane or left turning vehicles from the oncoming lanes, yields signs and painted shark teeth instruct the drivers that cyclists are given priority. Note that there is not a stop sign for vehicles that want turn onto Voorhofdreef from the intersecting street, they have a similar yield sign and sharks teeth on their side. One improvement for this intersection would be to build the curb further out where the right turn line is painted, providing vertical protection from the cycle path up until a car actually crosses it.
Site 8: Ruys de Beerenbrouckstraat
This neighborhood is mostly residential, but the road shown on this picture has a high volume of thru traffic that serves the smaller residential blocks. Because there is a cycle track on both sides of the road, it is important to protect thru cyclists from fast-moving cars making right or left turns. The traffic island shown works a choke point for cars travelling in either direction, commanding slower speeds. The cobblestone median also acts as a rumble strip that is uncomfortable for drivers to stay on for long, further narrowing their lane and reducing vehicle speeds.
A bicycle lane on the right shoulder of a road is not lauded as highly in the Netherlands as it is in the U.S. because it does not offer protection to cyclists when vehicles are travelling in an adjacent lane at significant speeds. However, the Dutch recognize that bicycle lanes are sufficient for cyclists when a road only has 1+1 lanes and enough consideration is given to thru travelling cyclists at intersections. In the Netherlands a bike lane is only safe when there are measures to protect cyclists from right turns made by cars on their side of the road and left turn made from oncoming traffic.
Site 4: Buitenhofdreef, Martinus Nijhoflaan
This signaled intersection on a 1 + 1 road with bike lanes provides a perfect example of a pocket bike lane, giving priority to thru travelling cyclists while allowing vehicles to position themselves for a right turn that will not jeopardize cyclists. This intersection also abides by the principle of “skinny roads, wide nodes” which allows for more traffic to flow through the intersection in a given cycle without providing multiple lanes in all places that encourage passing vehicles and with it speeding. The left turn lane is given a different traffic signal and its own phase at the intersection which allows drivers to pay closer attention to cyclists and pedestrians crossing on the other side.
Site 10: Julianalaan
This intersection, on a road with bike lanes, represents what would be “state of the art” bike facilities in the U.S. but leaves something to be desired for Dutch cyclists that have higher standards. Namely, this is the only left turn lane for cyclists that I have seen in the Netherlands, and although it works OK, it require the cyclist to merge across a lane of thru travelling vehicles in order to get in position at the stop light. Normally this intersection would provide a 2 crossing left hand turn for cyclists, which would keep them travelling to the right of vehicles at both crossings, but it appears that this intersection is too large to accommodate that solution. One consolation here is that the traffic cycles at this intersection are quite short, and the road before this intersection is just 1 lane of vehicle traffic so speeds are quite controlled where cyclists need to move left.
Advisory lanes exist like bicycle lanes but with a dashed line on the outer edge, and only on streets that are otherwise “unlaned.” This indicates to vehicular traffic that they are expected to stay within the center lane but may move partially or fully into the advisory lanes in order to pass oncoming traffic or give room to cyclists on either side. Although they are virtually nonexistent in the U.S. it is clear to Dutch drivers what is expected of them and to keep their speed low. The design of roads with advisory lanes, especially in residential areas with frequent pedestrian crossings expected, is also included with measures like speed humps, traffic islands, and chicanes in order to enforce speed reductions.
Site 6: Hugo de Grootstraat
This is a road with advisory lanes and a wide center lane, as well as 2 street parking rows. The pedestrian crossing shown in this image is near a school and meets the Dutch standards for providing easy crossing in a residential area. The sidewalk curb extends to the into the parking row of each side, reducing the distance pedestrians must cross, and the entire zebra striped crossing serves as a speed hump because it is raised 4″ to meet the sidewalk height. One last thing to note, although not shown in this image, is that similar speed humps and traffic islands exist frequently along this road that they serve to control the speed of vehicles along the way.
Site 7: Adriaan Pauwstraat
This is a 1+1 road with an advisory lane on one side and a cycle track on the other that comes to a T intersection with a perpendicular street. Although the intersection has been made safe for cyclists, it is interesting to note that this stretch of road is contrary to Dutch standards which only allow advisory lanes to exist where there is room for one on each side of the road with the center of the road remaining “unlaned.” The stopping line for cyclists at this traffic signal is approximately 5′ ahead of stopped vehicles, allowing for higher visibility of thru travelling cyclists.
Site 9: Nassaulaan
This example of a raised pedestrian crossing on a road with advisory lanes, where small traffic islands and bollards serve as further deterrents to high vehicle speed. The painted piano key stripes leading up to the crossing indicates to drivers that there is a speed hump. On the side of the street with a row of a parking, the sidewalk juts out to the bicycle advisory lane so that the crossing distance for pedestrians is shorter. This crossing also serves to slow the speed of cars entering a mixed use street in a residential area beyond.
Site 11: Schimmelpenninck van der Oyeweg
Most rural roads in the Netherlands are equipped with advisory lanes for bicycles, and this one is no exception. What was perhaps most impressive to me was the volume of trucks and tractors that travel on this road and others similar to it, none of which had a problem navigating around cyclists. On a road like this one, it should be noted that the wider the advisory lanes are made, the larger an effect they may have on reducing vehicle speeds.
A bicycle boulevard, or sometimes given the designation fietsstraat, is a shared use facility between bicycles, pedestrians, and cars. Usually placed near a busy shopping area or a cut through handy to cyclists, this facility allows cyclists to take up the entire lane. Vehicles travelling in this facility must drive slowly, and often only enter the area to in order to access the same shopping/pedestrian uses.
Site 1: Abtswoude Path
This bicycle boulevard (a common bike facility outside of grocery stores I have found) is a very wide mixed used street that mostly accommodates bicycles travelling through a corridor from the TU Delft campus, but often has slow moving cars entering and leaving the parking lot. This intersection is lacking a lot of design features that the Dutch would usually include when bikes have the right of way, but the cross street and bicycle boulevard have such low vehicular traffic that bicycles are safe to cross freely, and they generally take up much of the mixed use road. The red brick paving and “ZONE” marking indicate the beginning of the mixed use street to vehicles entering the area. It should also be noted that this bicycle boulevard only extends from this low traffic intersection to the next intersection with a cross street, where the bicycle route continues on separated tracks. The bicycle boulevard is most useful as a facility in a small area and where bicycle and pedestrian traffic is heavy and cars are not using it as a thru street but entering the area specifically to shop.
Site 5: Buitenwatersloot
This road is a really good sample case of how a once busy thru street can be demoted to a fietsstraat, with the occasional entry of vehicles only when necessary. Because a parallel road could carry the volume of traffic seen on this street, it was closed down to thru vehicles at this end of a half mile strip, while allowing bicycles and pedestrians through. This cut through is convenient for bicycles because it further connects the cycling network in an area that doesn’t have many close blocks with parallel streets. It also provides a quiet and beautiful path next to the canals, void of vehicular hazards.
A service road is a facility separate but parallel to a road allowing quicker moving thru traffic which usually provides parking and access to residential streets. Using a service road as a facility for cyclists makes sense because it inherently commands slower speeds from vehicles moving through, and has a lower volume of traffic. Service roads should be utilized where they already exist as an easy solution for accommodating cyclists.
Site 12: Zuidpoldersingel
This service road is a good example of how bicycles can fit in nicely with slower moving vehicles. In this case the service road provides on street parking and access to houses parallel to a faster moving 1+1 collector road that does not have the space for bicycle lanes. Rather than expanding the right of way, cyclists are directed to use the service road, which has a number of measures to slow traffic. The red stamped asphalt indicated that this is a mixed use street and a low curb to the sidewalk allows cyclists more space when cars are approaching or passing.