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  1. #1
    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    Intersection design - the dutch way

    a link to momentum magazine's video article about the latest dutch intersection design. interesting. Can't say I'm for it over our AASHTO existing best practices, but apparently a much safer intersection by design.

    momenteum magazines video - intersection design the dutch way


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    Unless the motorists are traveling very slowly and are much more passive than they are here (true enough in NL), then this design requires a cyclist to keep his/her head on a swivel and becomes a very dangerous game of dodge-car.

    In our current standard, the only issues are:
    1. right turning motorists must be able to see the cyclists they are overtaking on their way to the right turn lane. In the event that the cyclists is going faster than the motorists, the cyclist must adjust to the turning motorist that he/she is overtaking. These are standard maneuvers for traffic regardless of mode, so they are second nature.
    2. Left turning cyclists must change lanes. Again, this doesn't require any special knowledge or skills. The only safety issue here has to do with extremely fast moving traffic, which is still and issue in the Dutch model.

    In the Dutch model, cyclists going straight must contend with right-turning traffic. In our system, where motorists do not stop at their limit line, the cyclist must deal with motorists who are coming up from behind, hence the head-on-a-swivel complaint.

    Really, if motorists are properly trained and will follow the law, then the designs don't really matter. If motorists are narcissistic scofflaws, then there are no designs that will guarantee reasonable safety for road users. I've lived where the modal share of cycling was much higher than any Dutch city, and the key was traffic law enforcement with zero tolerance. The infrastructure is irrelevant when motorists don't feel any sense of entitlement.

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    the NL has a deeply ingrained bicycling culture, and their infrastructure reflects that. 40 to 50% of all trips are by bicycle. they are taught from an early age that the bicycle isn't just for recreational use but also a form of transportation. along with walking and an excellent public transportation system.

    its the opposite in the US. we have a deeply ingrained car culture. the car is king and the bicycle is just a toy not a serious form of transportation. the extreme autocentric infrastructure reflects a very different mentality. how many trips are made by bicycle? maybe a tenth of 1% if we're lucky? so small its not worth mentioning.

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    the one problem with their intersections is that the light cycle takes absolutely forever. So a left turn for a bike takes twice forever

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    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    The extra time my commute would take to do all that wiggle waggling is just plan wrong to force on cyclist. (I see why the dutch like it)
    Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.

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    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    The extra time my commute would take to do all that wiggle waggling is just plan wrong to force on cyclist. (I see why the dutch like it)
    sometimes, public safety demands cooperation, even if it means doing the prevailing speed of traffic, or stopping at a traffic signal.

    I suspect a cyclist on a bike route with these types of intersections would still get to work faster than a bicyclist stuck like a vehicle and waiting in the perennial traffic jams that crop up all over the aloha state.

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    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    sometimes, public safety demands cooperation, even if it means doing the prevailing speed of traffic, or stopping at a traffic signal.

    I suspect a cyclist on a bike route with these types of intersections would still get to work faster than a bicyclist stuck like a vehicle and waiting in the perennial traffic jams that crop up all over the aloha state.
    Do not judge the freeway gridlock to mean that cyclist routes are also gridlocked. This design neither improves safety of efficiency. Adding so many wiggle waggles only adds danger to cyclist. Once a motorist has started a right turn on red, who then has the right of way, the motorist of the wiggle waggling cyclist? How about a cyclist crossing and then suddenly turning left as shown in the video. some cyclist have a hard enough time signaling when going straight, so signaling during a wiggle waggle is asking for more trouble.

    But feel free to install it in Seattle and collect some data to prove how much time and safety it gives cyclist.
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    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    Once a motorist has started a right turn on red, who then has the right of way, the motorist of the wiggle waggling cyclist?

    That's the issue with trying to transplant some European designs here in the US, unless there's signage allowing it, it is illegal for motorists in the Netherlands to turn right on a red light.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    Do not judge the freeway gridlock to mean that cyclist routes are also gridlocked. This design neither improves safety of efficiency. Adding so many wiggle waggles only adds danger to cyclist. Once a motorist has started a right turn on red, who then has the right of way, the motorist of the wiggle waggling cyclist? How about a cyclist crossing and then suddenly turning left as shown in the video. some cyclist have a hard enough time signaling when going straight, so signaling during a wiggle waggle is asking for more trouble.

    But feel free to install it in Seattle and collect some data to prove how much time and safety it gives cyclist.
    Bek is actually spot on. But there's one point missing in his post: The Dutch design is meant to

    keep cyclists safe (and they are)
    make cycling easy and convenient (and it does)
    keep cyclists and motorized traffic apart, thus making all traffic move smoother.

    The last point is evident to anyone who has used Dutch or Copenhagen bike paths in rush hours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    2. Left turning cyclists must change lanes.
    Huh? Look at the picture again. It's essentially a roundabout. A left-turning cyclist does not have to change lanes, but simply goes around the circle. I did a bunch of riding in the Netherlands this summer, and the design works quite well, but as another poster pointed out, it requires everybody (drivers, cyclists, and peds) to cooperate with one another. Good luck with that in the U.S.
    My speculation was that it applies to some degree in cycling, and I used the previous proof as my reasoning, but I can't prove how exactly it applies to it and to what degree. That, I have admitted, is speculation based on reasoning, but not at this point provable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    That's the issue with trying to transplant some European designs here in the US, unless there's signage allowing it, it is illegal for motorists in the Netherlands to turn right on a red light.
    This is the number one thing I would change about U.S. law if I couuld. Right-turn on red should be illegal everywhere, except in very extraordinary circumstances. Changing that one thing would make roads vastly more pedestrian and bike-friendly, and would require no new infrastructure at all.
    My speculation was that it applies to some degree in cycling, and I used the previous proof as my reasoning, but I can't prove how exactly it applies to it and to what degree. That, I have admitted, is speculation based on reasoning, but not at this point provable.

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    Senior Member welshTerrier2's Avatar
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    Advantages:
    1. less likely to be hit from behind
    2. less likely to be doored
    3. no need to merge for left turn

    Disadvantages:
    1. more likely to be hit by right-turners (less visible and drivers don't know whether you're turning right or going straight as you reach the corner)
    2. more likely to be hit by left-turners (same reasons as above)
    3. cyclists parallel and perpendicular have a conflict point before the cement barrier because parallel cyclists with a red light are expected to stop after crossing the perpendicular bike lane
    4. cyclist left turns could take two full light cycles (cyclists are forced to turn left like pedestrians)
    5. in crowded cities, cyclists might have to yield to heavy pedestrian traffic and might not be able to cross the intersection ahead of right-turn only motorists when the light turns green
    6. cyclists approaching an existing red light might not be able to pass all the motorists in the right-turn only chute before the light turns green (similar to #5 above)

    Only time will tell whether this system is safer than the one we use in the US. Maybe I'm blinded by my own experience but the new Dutch system seems to create more problems than it cures.

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    Senior Member delcrossv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hagen2456 View Post
    Bek is actually spot on. But there's one point missing in his post: The Dutch design is meant to

    keep cyclists safe (and they are)
    make cycling easy and convenient (and it does)
    keep cyclists and motorized traffic apart, thus making all traffic move smoother.

    The last point is evident to anyone who has used Dutch or Copenhagen bike paths in rush hours.
    I imagine there are two sets of lights for these? (bike/car)? Do they have right turn on red in the Netherlands?
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    One flaw I see (assuming an intersection without left turn arrows):

    -Cyclists making left turns have to circle around the intersection. Cars going straight would have to stop to allow the cyclists to loop around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    That's the issue with trying to transplant some European designs here in the US, unless there's signage allowing it, it is illegal for motorists in the Netherlands to turn right on a red light.
    That, and the utter lack of training for drivers.

    The intersection presented presumes drivers are at least moderately aware of cyclists. It does eliminate the full head-turn needed to check for undertaking cyclists, which will incrementally improve Dutch safety, but it would take radical changes in American driving habits to work here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
    One flaw I see (assuming an intersection without left turn arrows):

    -Cyclists making left turns have to circle around the intersection. Cars going straight would have to stop to allow the cyclists to loop around.
    Assuming the intersection is controlled with a light, it's no different than the pedestrian left required now.

    If there is no light, then it's just a roundabout.

  17. #17
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by corvuscorvax View Post
    This is the number one thing I would change about U.S. law if I couuld. Right-turn on red should be illegal everywhere, except in very extraordinary circumstances. Changing that one thing would make roads vastly more pedestrian and bike-friendly, and would require no new infrastructure at all.
    +1000. The biggest argument for making right on red legal was that it saves gas... well make cars that shut down when they stop, and that not only saves gas, but saves lives!

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    The extra time my commute would take to do all that wiggle waggling is just plan wrong to force on cyclist. (I see why the dutch like it)
    Leave earlier.

  19. #19
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    the one problem with their intersections is that the light cycle takes absolutely forever. So a left turn for a bike takes twice forever
    Takes twice as long in a car too... so leave earlier. Or do you prefer the lifestyle of danger?

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    Quote Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
    One flaw I see (assuming an intersection without left turn arrows):

    -Cyclists making left turns have to circle around the intersection. Cars going straight would have to stop to allow the cyclists to loop around.
    The video displays notes on the lower right explaining that there are separate colors and timings of lights for the different types of traffic. However, I can also see how it would be either a very good thing, or potentially confusing at times.
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    Senior Member telkanuru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Takes twice as long in a car too... so leave earlier. Or do you prefer the lifestyle of danger?
    Whatever he prefers, I see you prefer gross hyperbole.
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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by telkanuru View Post
    Whatever he prefers, I see you prefer gross hyperbole.
    No I prefer to leave earlier, ride on roads that are designed for all traffic vice just the automobile, and to not have to listen to folks whine about having to wait for 2 more minutes because their time is so much more precious than mine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blinkie View Post
    The video displays notes on the lower right explaining that there are separate colors and timings of lights for the different types of traffic.
    A lot of the intersections of this type in the Netherlands have no light at all. Cars give bikes right-of-way.
    My speculation was that it applies to some degree in cycling, and I used the previous proof as my reasoning, but I can't prove how exactly it applies to it and to what degree. That, I have admitted, is speculation based on reasoning, but not at this point provable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by corvuscorvax View Post
    A lot of the intersections of this type in the Netherlands have no light at all. Cars give bikes right-of-way.
    You make me a bit jealous of the Netherlands, then. Here in the U.S., I'd fear such an intersection. It's tough enough for people here to understand a simple red light meaning stop.
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  25. #25
    Je pose, donc je suis.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blinkie View Post
    You make me a bit jealous of the Netherlands, then. Here in the U.S., I'd fear such an intersection. It's tough enough for people here to understand a simple red light meaning stop.
    It took me a long time to get used to passing on the right in Denmark, much to the annoyance of drivers.

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