Zuidpoldersingel Service Road: Sustainable Safety

by: Hayley Greenough and Michael Bangert-Drowns


From the left: residences, the service road, parking, and the distribution road.

  1. The main objective of the Service Road treatment is to separate local access traffic from through traffic while also providing a safe route for cyclists that doesn’t require much separate cycling infrastructure.
  2. The main objective of the service road aligns mostly with the sustainable safety concepts of functionality and homogeneity. Functionality seeks to classify roads in a hierarchically structured road network, which service roads do by clearly separating through traffic and making it a purely local access street. It also fits in with the homogeneity principle which seeks to equalize speed, direction, and mass due to its many traffic calming features that regulate speed of vehicles. It also aligns with the other three principles, being predictable with signage, forgiving in buffer space, and although it has less to do with the design, it is also a road that people can judge their own capabilities on fairly well. 
  3. Zuidpoldersingel was part of a real estate development in 2000 where the main road was used to distribute highway traffic to local residences. Due to its classification as a distribution road the accompanying service roads were constructed. On these service roads there are no cycle tracks, except for the occasions where the service road is killed. In these situations cycle tracks link the two separate service roads, allowing bikes to use the route for through traffic while cars can only use the road for local access. The bike path created by the service road is also directly connected to N470 bike highway.
  4. This treatment is appropriate for this site because it separates distribution traffic from the local access traffic. This provides a safe and more attractive environment in front of residences which benefits the residents themselves as well as cyclists wishing to use the road. It’s important to note that Zuidpoldersingel is the main distribution road for cars seeking to access the area from the N470 highway, and vice versa.
  5. The treatment is highly effective and achieves its objective with several key aspects. The most important aspect of the treatment is that the service road is split into segments that are only connected by cycle tracks. This drastically cuts down on the number of cars that would need to use the road. Other minor features include speed humps for cars, rough paving with bricks, curves along the road, and parking friction that also lowers the speed of traffic. Together, these treatments work well to deter excess traffic and slow the local access traffic that still uses the road.
  6. These treatments are very effective in deterring and slowing traffic, and they also are very well designed to make pedestrians and bike feel safe. Service roads have enough space for sharing space comfortably with all vehicles and pedestrians, and the cycle tracks connecting the segments of the service road make this an incredibly convenient route for cyclists to take that also connects to the major bike highway.