I road a bicycle highway from Rotterdam to Delft. This route connects the two cities and runs along the Delftse Schie canal. I noticed the road changes names from Delftseweg (closer to Rotterdam) to Rotterdamseweg (closer to Delft). These names tell road users where the road is taking them. The A13 was an afar car highway that ran parallel to our route on to the east. To the west, we could see the intercity trains pass by. We started in Rotterdam and passed through Overschie and Zweth, and then ended in Delft. Our route was 15 km and took about 50 minutes. The roads we took are in the following sequence: S115 (see Notes), Delftshavenseweg, Delftseweg, and Rotterdamseweg.
Starting from Kruiskade Street in the city center of Rotterdam, we rode north on the S115. This is a two-way cycle track that runs through western Rotterdam along a 1+1 road. Although this was a smooth asphalt road, during this section of our trip, we encountered multiple stop lights and yields. The delay per stop was about 30 seconds. These frequent stops were expected in the city. Riding through the city was somewhat a high-stress experience for me with so much happening on both sides of me such as car traffic on the left and pedestrian traffic on the right.
Once on the outskirts of Rotterdam, we approached a quieter, stand-alone road called Delftshavenseweg. It ran between a utility company and didn’t have the best views. I wasn’t a fan of the industrialism of this area. Although, this bike highway was not close to any car road which made for peaceful and uninterrupted riding. Towards the end of this road, we approached Jonkersbrug, a nice bicycle bridge. This bridge led us to a more pleasant area to ride in as it was surrounded by parks, grass, and a light traffic road. Since there is a road close enough to us, the bicycle facility becomes more of a cycle track. This cycle track is two-way and has smooth red asphalt. It’s elevated and separated from traffic with a grassy median and parked cars. It is separated from pedestrians with a permeable curb.
We were led to a narrow, pavered service road that ran between houses and the canal. Trash barrels had speed limits signs posted to them. This service road turned into a local road in the small town of Overschie. The wayfinding sign tolds us which way to go to follow the bike highway making it fairly easy to get around. The town had little car traffic which made riding down the pavered road okay. We mainly road our bikes next to parked cars. Towards the end of this road, which followed the canal, the bicycle lane became red asphalt. It didn’t need painted lines, since it had a different texture from the center of the road which had pavers.
The canal and road bent onto Delftseweg, where the route becomes a two-way cycle track on a quiet, country road. Parts of the road were not nice for riding because it was not well maintained. Once near the Crematorium, the cycle track became an advisory bike lanes (see photo above). This crossover seems perfectly fine since it is a low traffic road. On the contrary, the advisory bike lanes disappeared in about 340 m.
Once the advisory bike lanes disappear, the road drastically deteriorated. At this point, the road becomes Rotterdamseweg. The town of Zweth was the threshold between Delftseweg and Rotterdamseweg. The bicycle road became a black asphalt cycle track separated with a grass median and lower than car traffic. On the right side of us, there was pastureland. We were in the great heart region. This was smooth riding until we got close to houses where the road was not that smooth. It looked like wherever there was a driveway, locals painted the cycle track red to alert cars leaving driveway of bikes. Although, the painted red driveway areas was wearing out.
When we were greeted with a sign welcoming us to Delft, the cycle track drastically changed to become much newer looking. The cycle track was red asphalt and very smooth., except near the Kruithuisweg Bridge where the red paint was almost all gone.
There were about 7 stop lights (in Rotterdam) and 2 yields. – The route consisted of about 20% bicycle highway (countryside, intercity), 70% cycle track (in cities); and 10% on-street/mixed (towns). In total there was approximately 60% of smooth paths and 100% lit paths. I went through 2 roundabouts (Rotterdam) and 8 underpasses.
On the way to Rotterdam, GoogleMaps took us to the city center. We had to stop and walk our bikes since there was a Carnaval happening in the city that shut down streets as well as pouring rain. Therefore, we didn’t ride to the tunnel directly. We did walk by the Ibisbrug which is a bike and pedestrian only bridge. This draw bridge allows non-vehicles across the Scheepmakershaven. Here, we saw the Maas River and the Ibisbrug bridge. We started our route which we are reporting on from the city at the “Cool District”.
In comparison to the bike highway, our route through the city was also a cycle track yet had more stoplights (one extra). There is also another underpass in the direct route we did not stay on. The difference is we turned east onto the described S115 instead of continuing south along the canal to the Maas Tunnel. Staying along the canal is a continuation of the highway with more priority to bicycles. Turning onto the S115 had more of an urban environment (less greenery and more cars). If someone wanted to get to the south of the city, they would’ve stayed on the bike highway until the Maas Tunnel, otherwise turning onto the S115 to get to the city center makes more sense. The city center, though, did have more of a car-oriented feeling in this commercialized city.
Overall, the bicycle highway seemed a bit outdated compared to others I’ve seen. Most of the route was direct except for the road through Overschie. Unfortunately, some of the paths were deteriorating or not fully separated from cars. Therefore, it didn’t seem like a priority road for improvement. I don’t think commuters would find it ideal for riding if someone were to live in Delft and work in Rotterdam. It seemed more appropriate for a countryside dweller wanting to ride into the city on the weekend. However, it was nice to ride on in that not many cars were present, which is in a sense, a bike highway.