Anthony Scotto (With Clare Creedon): Rotterdam to Delft along the Schie
We began our trip from Rotterdam to Delft at Kruiskade street, in central Rotterdam. We headed West to link up with the river Schie, which the bike highway follows for the whole length. On the right hand side, you can see the A13 highway running parallel, and to the left the train from Delft to Rotterdam, also running parallel. Both of which are generally separated by hundreds of yards of fields, so you don’t hear or really know they are around you. The highway begins just South of Delft by TU, and ends at the River Maas. This route connects the two cities, but also connects Southern suburbs of Delft to Delft, and Northern suburbs of Rotterdam to Rotterdam.
We decided to split our highway into four segments: S115, Delftshavenseweg, Delftseweg, and Rotterdamseweg. While riding along S115 in Rotterdam, we were put onto a cycle track for the whole stretch. Being separated by cement barriers or parked cars in Rotterdam is a must, because it seems as if drivers and mo-ped riders are very aggressive there. The cycle tracks were very well paved, with separate bicycle specific lights. However, we did stop a lot for traffic at intersections, and it added a significant amount of time to our trip. I would average the stops to be around 50 seconds each. We then merged onto a stand alone track which turned into Delftshavenseweg, after leaving the city center. This section includes the track between the industrial area and the canal. It was quite nice to be so close to the river, but around the river was industrial and not very appealing. We then entered the town of Overschie, which was one of the most quaint and amazing towns I have ever rode through. However, the stand alone track ends, and you must ride on an uncomfortable brick surface throughout the town, along side cars. As a tourist, this was a great detour, as a commuter, I would not like this section.
We were then put along side the river Schie again when we got onto Delftseweg. There was a decently paved cycle track for us which was separated by a median and trees. This road was the first stretch into the Green Belt separating the two cities, and passed the highway on the right. We then transitioned into Rotterdamseweg after crossing the Zweth Bridge. In my opinion, this stretch was the roughest to bike on, with a lot of patches and random inclines. However, I found this stretch to be very visually pleasing, with tons of farm land to the right and left of the canal. I also really appreciated the cycle track turning into red whenever there was a driveway or street for cars to exit from Rotterdamseweg. It reminded drivers that they were crossing a cycle track, without the costs of painting the whole track red.
In conclusion, although this bike highway was beautiful, it fell short of other bike highways we have been on in Delftgauw in terms of comfort and efficiency. There were far too many driveways and access points crossing the tracks for it to be called a true Dutch bike highway. Although the route was very direct along the Schie, the road adjacent to us was not fully demoted. This created a large distance of cycle tracks as opposed to a standalone highway, which is the most ideal for safety and comfort purposes. The surface of the bike infrastructure was never ideally smooth as we have seen in other places. Maybe I’m spoiled, but I would not bike long distances on this highway if I had a car available to me.
Interactive Map of Route With Photos:
Segment Length: 15 km, which took us 50 minutes.
Stoplights: 7 stop lights, all of which were in Rotterdam
Grade Separated Crossings: 8 underpasses
Number of Roundabouts: 2, both of which in Rotterdam
% of Route With Smooth Surface: Around 60%
% Stand Alone Path: 20% (Relatively limited for a bike highway, only in the section along the industrial area). Cycle Track: 70% (the bulk of the cycling, which was between cities). On-Street: 10% (within the towns that the bike highway intersects)
% with lighting: Around 100%