- Facility #1:
A two lane road, similar to facility one, with a painted center line instead of a dividing median. The facility was slightly more stressful, as compared to the previous, due to vehicles travelling closer to bike lane to avoid the oncoming traffic. Bike lanes were wider, approximately 6-8’. Notably here were integrated bus stops, which diverted cyclists off the roadway and between the sidewalk and bus loading zone along the curb. With limited right of way constrictions, it is unsure how easily safety could be improved. If cycle tracks were to be proposed, it is unlikely there would be enough room for a buffer between parking and the cycle track for passengers to unload without standing in the cycle track.
- Facility #2:
A two lane road with dividing median, the bike lanes are curbside of each lane. Travel lanes were approximately 12-14’ wide with a 5-6’ bike lane. The bike lanes were a broken white striping, with worn paint, especially at DW entrances. A red asphalt mix maintained the clear lane distinction even if lane markings had worn. The only safety concern noted while riding the facility was when vehicles along the on street parking open their doors onto the bike lane, forcing cyclists to weave into traffic. The median allowed vehicles to closer to the center line without worry for oncoming traffic and cause less stress for the cyclist. Several driveways, which seem to be uncommon, were noticed along the West side of the route. No other safety concerns were observed while riding the route and it was not noted to be a high stress environment. Compared to the US this seemed like a somewhat typical bike lane, but with overall driver awareness and amenities such as colorized asphalt and median, safety was comparably better. The expense of the facility is on the low end and provides a baseline satisfactory safety benchmark from an American perspective. To improve safety, the wide sidewalks can easily be encroached upon to create cycle tracks, shifting the bikes to the other side of the parking, but with current street lighting along the front of sidewalk, it would likely be expensive for a small gain in safety.
- Facility #4a:
One travel lane in each direction with painted bike lanes. Wide grass medians separate traffic, with a tram line in the middle. Bike lanes are wide enough to ride two abreast. I was unsure why this facility wasn’t the same as facility 5, as very similar conditions were observed.
- Facility #4b:
This facility connected 4a to the rotary (wide radius roundabout) Papsouwselaan and Voorhofdreef. It was similar, but due to less right of way, did not have the wide grass medians, with only a smaller center median. The approach to the intersection was unsafe, and I was reminded of many poor intersections in the US, where right turning traffic weaves across the bike lane. Many vehicles seem to yield improperly to bicycles as they are more focused on the intersection than the cyclist at their side. It is the same experience I’ve faced before and can be very stressful. The only way I can see this being improved would be to separate the cyclists, but that would likely cause too many issues at the intersection and I don’t think it would fit within the right of way.
- Facility #3:
The impression of riding many local streets in the US, but this seemed to see a higher vehicle volume. With low speeds (i.e. less than 30km/hr residential zone) the bikes did not severely impede vehicles and cause friction. No stress was notable for the short duration of this segment.
- Facility #7:
This stretch of road with contra flow served limited traffic. There was enough room for one direction of bicycles and a car to pass side by side.
- Facility #5:
A separated cycle track with wide buffers on either side provide the least amount of stress on the cyclist along the corridor, but intersections seemed to become more complex. The wide nature of road made crossing much more difficult requiring yielding multiple times.
- Facility #6:
A continuation of facility 5, without a buffer along the sidewalk. It had more intersections and roadway crossing, thus it seemed more close or “active” within the roadway.
- Facility #10:
Though this facility was similar to facility 6, the roadway was narrower, with a more local feel to the area (i.e. a residential area with few shops). The unsignalized intersection did require more stress on the cyclist side (yielding a minimum of twice to cars) but had very clear safety measures implemented (islands, vehicle deflections, etc.)
- Facility #8:
My pictures for this segment did not turn out well and were blurry and were not included in the gallery. The advisory lanes seemed identical to bike lanes and did include painted bike symbols, but with the approximate 12-14’ travel lane, vehicles did frequently need to enter the “suggested” bike lanes. As a biker, it definitely requires more spatial awareness comparable to what is required on US roads without bike lanes, but the clear delineation of space designated for the cyclist forces drivers to pay attention when they “encroach” on the cyclist’s space. The clear zone where a cyclists are known to be and can act accordingly, the vehicle must accommodate the cyclist. In the US, if this road had a centerline without bike lanes and a cyclist hears a vehicle behind them either causes the cyclist to speed up and attempt to race the vehicle, or a vehicle can attempt an unsafe pass across the centerline where they speed up instead of slow down. The biker feels crushed against the curb where they, the one most at risk, must accommodate the vehicle. With lower end ADT, I imagine these facilities are quite effective for the scenario they serve.
- Facility #9:
Similar to facility 8, this facility implemented horizontal deflections with medians at pedestrian crossing to lower vehicle speed. These medians forced vehicles to enter the “suggested” bike lane and also likely improve driver awareness.
- Facility #12
Several traffic barriers installed to reduce speed at the transition between rural and residential, a speed reduction from 50km/h to 30km/h. These required drivers to reduce their speeds with several barriers and other traffic obstacles. A good way to make sure drivers don’t speed if they physically are not able to.
- Facility #13
A separated low volume road providing direct local access to houses, bicycles were allowed to travel in the same path as vehicles with no separation needed. The slow speeds and nature of the service ( high direct residential access, parking, etc.) allowed bikes to safety and effectively operate without any added stress.
- Facility #14
This highway was interesting to see provide total right of way to bikes crossing the collector roads. The natural surroundings of the facility were pleasant (e.g. plantings, farmland, dykes, etc.) while providing direct access through a town. When adjacent to the motorway, the bike highway was offset both horizontally and vertically.