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All is not well on Dutch bike paths

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All is not well on Dutch bike paths

Old 02-25-19, 10:44 AM
  #26  
Leisesturm
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Originally Posted by Stadjer View Post
They seem easy to tip over.
Not to me. CoG looks about right for the kinds of speeds these things are likely to see. But I am just getting up to speed here. WTF? What rock have I been under that this robapocalypse has come upon polite society without my notice! I'm thinking that, for now, North America remains robot free. Yeah, that's the ticket. I also think in a collision with an F-150, the truck would prevail? I'll also go out on a limb and suggest these things won't be running cyclists over either and if a cyclist manages to hit one it would be evidence the cyclist was inattentive, not the other way around.
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Old 02-25-19, 10:57 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
That light stick is pathetic. Needs christmas tree.

I hope you are being sarcastic. It needs no such thing. By the way I watched only about two minutes of that video before turning it off. Too depressing. Besides noting that none of the robots in it had any visibility enhancement at all, I also cannot help speculating that a proliferation of these devices only adds to the burden of unemployed and otherwise unemployable people on society. This myth that if people cannot get pizza delivery jobs they will respond by getting CCNA certification or degrees in Nuclear Medicine is pure fantasy.
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Old 02-25-19, 01:14 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Not to me. CoG looks about right for the kinds of speeds these things are likely to see.But I am just getting up to speed here. WTF? What rock have I been under that this robapocalypse has come upon polite society without my notice! I'm thinking that, for now, North America remains robot free.
I mean on purpose. You could also fold a tinfoil hat and put if over it's communication devices.
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Old 02-25-19, 04:13 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Not to me. CoG looks about right for the kinds of speeds these things are likely to see. But I am just getting up to speed here. WTF? What rock have I been under that this robapocalypse has come upon polite society without my notice! I'm thinking that, for now, North America remains robot free. Yeah, that's the ticket. I also think in a collision with an F-150, the truck would prevail? I'll also go out on a limb and suggest these things won't be running cyclists over either and if a cyclist manages to hit one it would be evidence the cyclist was inattentive, not the other way around.
Theyre very fidgety. They rock forward and backward a lot on stop/start, they don't move fluidly unless they're cruising. They wouldn't tip sideways though, unless they went off the edge of a high kerb. Which they probably do. They're clumsy and not very predictable, especially around junctions. But on the straights, a cyclist has passed by the time the sensors kick-in and freak it out..
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Old 03-24-19, 06:02 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
Theyre very fidgety. They rock forward and backward a lot on stop/start, they don't move fluidly unless they're cruising. They wouldn't tip sideways though, unless they went off the edge of a high kerb. Which they probably do. They're clumsy and not very predictable, especially around junctions. But on the straights, a cyclist has passed by the time the sensors kick-in and freak it out..
”The Road Ahead: Reimagining Mobility”

Such a missed opportunity.

“What’s that in the road, a head?”
“No, that’s just a robot ice chest.”
“What’s it doing there?”
“Fidgeting, I think?”

Anyhow, this puppy was powered off:



-mr. bill






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Old 03-24-19, 10:30 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Stadjer View Post
City bicycle traffic is anarchy, it's made this way by anarchy over many decades. Even the Nazi's couldn't control it. It's not anarchy in the (wrong) sense that there are no norms. It's anarchy in the sense that the rules come from the bottom up, the people themselves without any authority. Dutch cycling traffic is ruled by unwritten rules much more than by written rules. The cyclists conquered their space from the cars themselves, law enforcement wasn't helpful then and it isn't needed now. Government just needs to facilitate, adjust infrastructure to the facts on the ground and do minor corrections. Law enforcement is for cars and mopeds, those are the ones that need to be ruled.
I lost the link, but read an interesting comment in another forum, which I will paraphrase: Traffic rules are for cars. Pedestrians and cyclists don't need rules. In crowded pedestrian areas, such as malls and transit stations, people get around just fine without rules. They make eye contact, watch where they're going, and even occasionally bump into one another. Injuries are rare, and usually involve someone tripping over their own stuff.

In contrast, cars need to be regulated by strict rules. If a car even touches another car, it becomes a matter for the police, insurance, and lawyers.

I suspect bikes may be somewhere in the middle between cars and pedestrians, but could stand with vastly fewer rules if there were no cars. Applying the same rules to cars and bikes is more a matter of convenience and politics -- it would be wasteful and confusing to have separate rule books, and the public wants to believe that cyclists are not getting some sort of special dispensation at the expense of motorists. Also, a large segment of the population is just fearful of anything that doesn't emanate from some sort of authority.
I hope they will return with a proper design soon.
I like the concept too. I've got two kids, who were both in daycare for a while. Transporting kids from A to B is a huge hassle for daycare facilities. They have to own a van, and it has to be inspected for safety. It has to be parked somewhere. The driver needs a special license. Most daycare facilities solve the problem by simply not taking the kids anywhere, or going to places within walking distance.
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Old 03-25-19, 06:23 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
I lost the link, but read an interesting comment in another forum, which I will paraphrase: Traffic rules are for cars. Pedestrians and cyclists don't need rules. In crowded pedestrian areas, such as malls and transit stations, people get around just fine without rules. They make eye contact, watch where they're going, and even occasionally bump into one another. Injuries are rare, and usually involve someone tripping over their own stuff.
Clearest example is probably 'All Directions Green'.


It was introduced here in my hometown about 10 years ago, what it does is seperating cyclists crossing from other traffic, and let the cyclists work it out in the time all the cars and buses wait. I didn't know about that and just arrived at that junction and started pedallig when I got the green light and just crossed without any problem. It didn't require any new skills or different behaviour from other city cycling. Confronted with an unclear situation revert to rule 1: avoid collisions. It's the same with shared space conditions, which weren't official back then but had emerged on several locations. The ADG started to become a bit of an issue in the following weeks because some people believed it meant that the basic rule that traffic from the right had the right of way, while others thought it was all about improvisation. Technically bikes from the right have right of way, but the city council didn't communicate that because it wanted the emphasis on negotiating and probably cyclists from the left going for gaps instead of standing still and waiting. So it was a bit confusing for a while but imo mainly because people started overthinking it. After a while it just smoothed out because everybody got used to it and conformed to certain patterns where people from the right have a slightly better negotiating position, also because they have a shorter distance to where the lines cross.

It has to do with state of mind though. The probably Portuguese guy making the video is obviously too impressed, you also see that in comments on other Dutch cycling video's where people talk about near misses when it's just a minor correction of speed or direction to avoid collisions, that happens all the time. It only works with trust in cyclist's capability to improvise and avoid collisions, not if you think like a driver. Much more interesting than why it works is why the experiment failed at first in Rotterdam, it was cancelled within half and hour because it was a mess. Rotterdam has always been lagging behind in becoming a cycling city, has a very different lay-out and Rotterdammers tend to take pride in beeing assertive. So this suggests there is a certain mindset required that has to be developped. It works on several crossing there by now though.

In contrast, cars need to be regulated by strict rules. If a car even touches another car, it becomes a matter for the police, insurance, and lawyers.

I suspect bikes may be somewhere in the middle between cars and pedestrians, but could stand with vastly fewer rules if there were no cars. Applying the same rules to cars and bikes is more a matter of convenience and politics -- it would be wasteful and confusing to have separate rule books, and the public wants to believe that cyclists are not getting some sort of special dispensation at the expense of motorists. Also, a large segment of the population is just fearful of anything that doesn't emanate from some sort of authority.
I don't know, there are examples of spontaneous order with drivers too, when traffic lights failed for example. It would probably get easier if everybody drove a convertible with the top down.

I like the concept too. I've got two kids, who were both in daycare for a while. Transporting kids from A to B is a huge hassle for daycare facilities. They have to own a van, and it has to be inspected for safety. It has to be parked somewhere. The driver needs a special license. Most daycare facilities solve the problem by simply not taking the kids anywhere, or going to places within walking distance.
Here it's also often instead of walking, because walking with a group of kids isn't that safe as they will not always stay together. Anyway, if transporting kids like this isn't safe enough the problem is with the calmness of the traffic, not with the contraption.
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Old 03-25-19, 07:43 PM
  #33  
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The e-bikes help with pedestrian diplomacy, I find, because I'm not inconvenienced by people getting in my way - I can crawl to a stop, happy in the knowledge the motor will assist me straight back up to cruising speed.

What's more, they don't know that, so they get a hit of guilt for their karma.
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Old 03-26-19, 11:40 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
The e-bikes help with pedestrian diplomacy, I find, because I'm not inconvenienced by people getting in my way - I can crawl to a stop, happy in the knowledge the motor will assist me straight back up to cruising speed.

What's more, they don't know that, so they get a hit of guilt for their karma.
Usually I just stop pedalling for a second, they know I've seen them and start walking and ride around their back. It's usually German visitors who are not familiar with the procedure and hesitate, causing me to make a full stop. I don't like losing momentum.
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Old 03-31-19, 12:44 PM
  #35  
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Living in Copenhagen, I'm well accustomed to congested bike lanes... but I've biked in The Netherlands (and Amsterdam as well)... and their infrastructure is way behind - oftentimes bike paths are just marked with paint - not separated from the road plateau by a curb... and I noticed that you also see both directions assigned to one side of the road...

In part this invites more "aggressive" behaviour as overtaking into the motor lane is simply a matter of crossing a painted line... vs in Copenhagen where it's requires transgressing a fairly dramatic change in terrain... but even further obnoxious tourists who are basically out biking for the first time have an even harder time differentiating different lanes in Amsterdam... it's chaos!
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Old 04-01-19, 07:30 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by nuxx View Post
Living in Copenhagen, I'm well accustomed to congested bike lanes... but I've biked in The Netherlands (and Amsterdam as well)... and their infrastructure is way behind - oftentimes bike paths are just marked with paint - not separated from the road plateau by a curb... and I noticed that you also see both directions assigned to one side of the road...

In part this invites more "aggressive" behaviour as overtaking into the motor lane is simply a matter of crossing a painted line... vs in Copenhagen where it's requires transgressing a fairly dramatic change in terrain... but even further obnoxious tourists who are basically out biking for the first time have an even harder time differentiating different lanes in Amsterdam... it's chaos!
That's a matter of (the wrong) perspective. Amsterdam is chaotic in a quite cycling unfriendly way, but the order of kerbed cycle paths is mainly beneficial to motorists so they can speed up. That speed and the mindset that comes with it isn't necessarily beneficial to cyclists when there comes a point they are no longer seperated. It's a rather primitive measure in the sense that it's more a regulation of a problem than a solution. When infrastructure advances there are less of these curbed cycling paths rather than more of them..
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Old 04-01-19, 08:00 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Stadjer View Post
That's a matter of (the wrong) perspective.
I understand your sentiment ...however - there's very little "speed up" about any of the motorised traffic in Copenhagen... it's simply not possible - so it's not an actual issue. It is also my experience from cities without established cycling cultures and proper lane separation, that cars show very little consideration for cyclists anyway - so I question the effect you're advocating. Altogether it's much safer and pleasant this way ...and trust me... driving a car in Copenhagen - you're alert to cyclists - no other option... in a car you're the secondary traffic here.

Welcome to central Copenhagen:


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Old 04-02-19, 02:01 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by nuxx View Post
I understand your sentiment ...however - there's very little "speed up" about any of the motorised traffic in Copenhagen... it's simply not possible - so it's not an actual issue. It is also my experience from cities without established cycling cultures and proper lane separation, that cars show very little consideration for cyclists anyway - so I question the effect you're advocating. Altogether it's much safer and pleasant this way ...and trust me... driving a car in Copenhagen - you're alert to cyclists - no other option... in a car you're the secondary traffic here.

Welcome to central Copenhagen:

This is very close to the centre of Groningen.


It's one of the main streets into the real city centre. Some have more cars, this one was recently redone, the bus was removed and replaced with little electrical buses and the sidewalks were removed too.



This street, well outside the centre, was redone recently too. It's now a bicycle street which means cars are guests and have to adapt to cyclist's speed instead of passing them. It's only to keep the connecting streets accessible so people can park near their home or their visit.

It's things like that happening lately. Less seperation rather than more, cars are slowed down and ever fewer in numbers. That doesn't mean kerbed cycle paths are outdated and useless, it depends on the street or road, but here it's more an improvement of the 90's. It's not the measure of advancement because there are already steps taken that go further and it doesn't solve the conflict between bikes and cars, it just controls it. What lots of people don't realize is that when cycling is truly dominant it's a paradigm shift and the perspective changes. Bike lanes become a limitation of space for the cyclists who would like to have the full width of the road available and they don't mind the odd car in between. A lot of space is kept away from the bikes to let the cars go fast, so it becomes car friendly infrastructure. If traffic is really calmed effectively, who is the vulnerable road user? The cyclist is much more agile and can do what he wants and if there's contact the car will usually have more damage than the bike and will have to pay for all. I've brushed a lot of cars, and hardly ever felt brushed by them. Cars and bikes don't need to be seperated, as long as the cars adapt their speed they can come very close. It's the speeds that you have to keep seperated
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Old 04-02-19, 02:49 AM
  #39  
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Came here to say something but @Stadjer said everything i wanted to say.

that said the guardian is just doing a whole bunch of fear mongering but not sure who the audience for it is. most if not all dutch and dutch residents would pretty much call bs on that whole thing and continue their usual use of bikepaths. Honestly confused on intended public of that article
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Old 04-02-19, 03:58 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Stadjer View Post
Less seperation rather than more, cars are slowed down and ever fewer in numbers. That doesn't mean kerbed cycle paths are outdated and useless, it depends on the street or road, but here it's more an improvement of the 90's. It's not the measure of advancement because there are already steps taken that go further and it doesn't solve the conflict between bikes and cars, it just controls it. What lots of people don't realize is that when cycling is truly dominant it's a paradigm shift and the perspective changes. Bike lanes become a limitation of space for the cyclists who would like to have the full width of the road available and they don't mind the odd car in between. A lot of space is kept away from the bikes to let the cars go fast, so it becomes car friendly infrastructure. If traffic is really calmed effectively, who is the vulnerable road user? The cyclist is much more agile and can do what he wants and if there's contact the car will usually have more damage than the bike and will have to pay for all. I've brushed a lot of cars, and hardly ever felt brushed by them. Cars and bikes don't need to be seperated, as long as the cars adapt their speed they can come very close. It's the speeds that you have to keep seperated
Again... I fully understand your sentiment - and the shared paradigm you depict is essentially the de-facto circumstance in the entire suburbs of Copenhagen (outside the few key motor inroads we do have) - there's not even any need to mark anything / add signage (which looks super quaint to a Danish person) it's simply the established traffic norm already.

In a heavily congested urban centre like central Copenhagen however... a shared space would entirely annul the possibility of car traffic altogether... I live quite central and would personally fully welcome that! I strongly believe cars don't belong downtown. But I also appreciate that it's a process... given the photo references you're posting I'm not sure you fully appreciate the extent of the bicycle commuting culture here... since 2016 the amount of daily cyclists actually outnumber motor vehicles:



This is a completely typical picture on my daily commute:



Without dedicated biking paths / in a wholly shared paradigm - car traffic wouldn't stand a chance... and you could say that would be desirable - but we also have to consider political viability... sadly we're not quite in a place to abolish car traffic in central Copenhagen altogether... but you have my vote

It's not all rosey... far from it - we still have many things to work out/improve... given the congestion and some people's poor driving manners, many consider other cyclists the bigger problem - not cars... but we've come quite far I'd say.

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Old 04-02-19, 04:01 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by phile View Post
that said the guardian is just doing a whole bunch of fear mongering but not sure who the audience for it is. most if not all dutch and dutch residents would pretty much call bs on that whole thing and continue their usual use of bikepaths. Honestly confused on intended public of that article
We have similar issues - with regular stories slamming poor biking manners and describing "hellish" scenarios with hundredes of cyclists battling for space... yes things can get a bit hectic with that many moving parts... but such reports are significantly exaggerating the situation - we should (and mostly do) cherish how lucky we are to have things the way we have it in terms of cycling accessibility and ubiquity.
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Old 04-02-19, 04:06 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by nuxx View Post
We have similar issues - with regular stories slamming poor biking manners and describing "hellish" scenarios with hundredes of cyclists battling for space... yes things can get a bit hectic with that many moving parts... but such reports are significantly exaggerating the situation - we should (and mostly do) cherish how lucky we are to have things the way we have it in terms of cycling accessibility and ubiquity.
but are your stories from danish news outlets? cause what confuses me is an outside news outlet coming up with this sort of article? who id it for? dutch residents reading the guardian will not take it seriously. and i doubt the british care at all about dutch cycling paths. sooo who is this for?
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Old 04-02-19, 04:20 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by phile View Post
but are your stories from danish news outlets?
Both:

For one we have the predictable local politics of non-resident motor commuters complaining about the horror of being dethroned by bikes as the dominant traffic whenever they enter the city... this spawns the occasional polemical article in local media.

But then there's the probably more interesting foreign media articles, which seem aimed at undermining certain traffic development efforts in their own respective regions by highlighting/exaggerating problems in bike congestion in Copenhagen as a form of scare tactic. I suspect the strategy is similar to the partisan debate in the US about healthcare, where the left is often using Denmark (and probably other European countries) as a positive example for universal health care and the right trying to poke holes in the argument, usually (ignorantly) referring to our scary scary taxes. Neither side is probably particularly interested in Danish or Dutch domestic conditions - but merely uses them as a rhetorical linchpin for their own views for or against.
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Old 04-02-19, 04:39 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by nuxx View Post
Both:

For one we have the predictable local politics of non-resident motor commuters complaining about the horror of being dethroned by bikes as the dominant traffic whenever they enter the city... this spawns the occasional polemical article in local media.

But then there's the probably more interesting foreign media articles, which seem aimed at undermining certain traffic development efforts in their own respective regions by highlighting/exaggerating problems in bike congestion in Copenhagen as a form of scare tactic. I suspect the strategy is similar to the partisan debate in the US about healthcare, where the left is often using Denmark (and probably other European countries) as a positive example for universal health care and the right trying to poke holes in the argument, usually (ignorantly) referring to our scary scary taxes. Neither side is probably particularly interested in Danish or Dutch domestic conditions - but merely uses them as a rhetorical linchpin for their own views for or against.
see i was thinking this but then i thought it's a british news source, i doubt british politics are currently trying to make bicycle/ alternative transport a more viable thing right now considering the whole brexit debacle going on. so i'm still at a blank. best guess is writer saw someone in cycling short with a nice butt, thought it was someone of the sex that attracts them, found it wasn't and now hates ate cyclists for confusing his or her sexuality.
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Old 04-02-19, 05:00 AM
  #45  
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Hmm, maybe @phile... but I think this particular article seems more to be in the nexus of automated/autonomous/electric vehicles than strictly biking related? It could also be seen as a defense of biking infrastructure to not be encroached upon by other types of transport - it also mentions mopeds being partially restricted (as they definitely should!)... we have similar discourse around overpowered (+25kmph) electrical bikes here.

In the bigger picture though - I do think biking culture in Britain is somewhat seen as a continental, and thus primordially European (read: EU) phenomenon(?)... and as such lends itself heavily to the charged discourse around Brexit - although I'll contend it can hardly be a major topic, considering the scale of challenges currently facing GB. I also go to London several times a year since we have an office there and my sister lives an hour north... and I do sense an increase in bike traffic in recent years - if still benign... god knows London's infrastructure in no way invites it... but it does increase the relevancy of the topic in that context.
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Old 04-02-19, 05:05 AM
  #46  
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@nuxx
i can see the not encroaching on existing infrastructure by other alternate transport angle, could be a thing.

semi related unrelated note, have only been to london once but from what i saw, it seems like an ok place to bike, but i'd love to skate it though. something about the general layout and streets begs for high speed longboard shenanigans
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Old 04-02-19, 05:12 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by phile View Post
have only been to london once but from what i saw, it seems like an ok place to bike
If you removed the cars - it'd be an amazing place to bike... and probably live in general (if not slightly expensive *cough*)... but from what I see - you're either narrowly squeezing in between mostly static or quite speedy motor traffic everywhere you go... perhaps @Stadjer has a solution for them. About skating... well I've only ever done the ice-related kind... and perhaps twice a decade - but there's definitely a lot of I would imagine potentially interesting level/plateu variations in the medieval center to that end... not sure if you'd get arrested or not - part of the experience perhaps! ;P
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Old 04-02-19, 08:52 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by nuxx View Post
Again... I fully understand your sentiment - and the shared paradigm you depict is essentially the de-facto circumstance in the entire suburbs of Copenhagen (outside the few key motor inroads we do have) - there's not even any need to mark anything / add signage (which looks super quaint to a Danish person) it's simply the established traffic norm already.
Yes, we do have actual crime and a prison population that keeps producing signs. There is a trend towards less signs, but bureaucratic habits die slow and it's relatively new so people need to be educated about it I guess.

In a heavily congested urban centre like central Copenhagen however... a shared space would entirely annul the possibility of car traffic altogether... I live quite central and would personally fully welcome that! I strongly believe cars don't belong downtown. But I also appreciate that it's a process... given the photo references you're posting I'm not sure you fully appreciate the extent of the bicycle commuting culture here... since 2016 the amount of daily cyclists actually outnumber motor vehicles:



This is a completely typical picture on my daily commute:

To be honest, my impression is that Copenhagen is overestimatiing itself a bit as a cycling city, probably partly due to the Copenhagenize campaign and the city flaunting it's busy cyclepath, innovations and infrastructure designs. It's been great for cycling advocacy around the world, and gets the message across better than Amsterdamize (go bonkers?), Utrechtenize (killing people?) or Groningenize (say what?) and the orderly cycling there translates much better to other major cities, but it is marketing and marketing doesn't reflect reality. Especially not in comparison, forget about Amsterdam, it's cities like Nijmegen, Utrecht, Eindhoven, Den Bosch, Zwolle (150 to 400K) that are really pushing the car out of the city centres and making the surrounding neighbourhoods car low.

Groningen has tradtionally been ahead so there are no big changes anymore, still it moves at a steady pace towards more cycling and even less cars. It depends on what you count as city centre, but the last time there were more cars than bikes going into the centre must have been in the early seventies. If cyclists have to stop for car traffic, even in a 200k city you get big cycling traffic jams:


Without dedicated biking paths / in a wholly shared paradigm - car traffic wouldn't stand a chance... and you could say that would be desirable - but we also have to consider political viability... sadly we're not quite in a place to abolish car traffic in central Copenhagen altogether... but you have my vote
You'll always need car access. For emergencies but also for deliveries and the disabled. In a cramped city like mine you've got to leave room for improvisation. Removing the sidewalks for example will narrow the space for cyclists when there's a lot of pedestrians and vice versa, often there's lots of both and traffic will slow down, but not stop. That's also an advantage of painted bicycle lanes, they can be used by cars when the space is needed for some reason. Cyclists won't stick to the cycle lanes either when there are many. I don't mind a car temporarily parked in the bike lane, it's not blocking my road, I just move around it. Usually without looking over my shoulder, as the drivers behind can see that the bike lane is blocked too. Things become much more easy and flexible when cars are no longer seen as the dangerous enemy.

It's not all rosey... far from it - we still have many things to work out/improve... given the congestion and some people's poor driving manners, many consider other cyclists the bigger problem - not cars... but we've come quite far I'd say.
Size doesn't help I guess, especially of the whole urban area. Capital cities often have wide spatious straight lanes with high blocks that invite car infrastructure, and a relatively hard and big core of people 'too important or rich' to ride a bike. I don't mean the Danish representatives or members of government, but the diplomats, the bankers, the foreign investors who are often not there to adjust to local customs. There's been quite a decline in Danish cycling in the 80's if I'm correct and that doesn't help either. So yes, nothing to be ashamed of but that still doesn't make seperation of cars and bikes the ultimate goal or the most advanced.

Originally Posted by nuxx View Post
If you removed the cars - it'd be an amazing place to bike... and probably live in general (if not slightly expensive *cough*)... but from what I see - you're either narrowly squeezing in between mostly static or quite speedy motor traffic everywhere you go... perhaps @Stadjer has a solution for them.
The only reason for optimism concerning London is that it;s badly congested. It's huge and not very compact, it doesn't really have one centre, it has no centralistic government, the air is bad, the population is of the 2nd bike free generation at best, there's little social cohesion, it's not safe in general and the people are unfriendly and avoiding eye contact. There seems to be a very long way to go before peace can break out between bikes and cars. So you'll probably have to force separated elevated bike lanes and/or little car free 'centres' until the cyclists are in the majority.
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Old 04-02-19, 12:29 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Stadjer View Post
To be honest, my impression is that Copenhagen is overestimatiing itself a bit as a cycling city, probably partly due to the Copenhagenize campaign and the city flaunting it's busy cyclepath, innovations and infrastructure designs. It's been great for cycling advocacy around the world, and gets the message across better than Amsterdamize (go bonkers?), Utrechtenize (killing people?) or Groningenize (say what?) and the orderly cycling there translates much better to other major cities, but it is marketing and marketing doesn't reflect reality. Especially not in comparison, forget about Amsterdam, it's cities like Nijmegen, Utrecht, Eindhoven, Den Bosch, Zwolle (150 to 400K) that are really pushing the car out of the city centres and making the surrounding neighbourhoods car low.
I'll follow you so far as the (quite successful) branding exercise is definitely a substantial part of it... but then the initial comparison was between two metropolitan regions of more than 2m population - as these pose substantially larger internal traffic/commuting challenges relative to sub 500k population cities... in this context I don't think it's meaningful to juxtapose a relatively minor urban area like Groningen. The parameters are simply not remotely comparable... more than the entire population of Groningen bikes through central CPH daily. But it seems you agree Amsterdam is certainly overrated in this respect?

Originally Posted by Stadjer View Post
I don't mind a car temporarily parked in the bike lane, it's not blocking my road, I just move around it. Usually without looking over my shoulder, as the drivers behind can see that the bike lane is blocked too. Things become much more easy and flexible when cars are no longer seen as the dangerous enemy.
I simply don't see this type of ad-hoc pathing functioning safely in a heavily congested metropolis. I assume your example road doesn't see an average of 2500 cyclists/hour like the one I depicted above?

There's been quite a decline in Danish cycling in the 80's if I'm correct and that doesn't help either. So yes, nothing to be ashamed of but that still doesn't make seperation of cars and bikes the ultimate goal or the most advanced.
I'm actually not sure about statistics from the 80s... nor do I think it's particularly relevant today... I reckon a lot of catching up was done since. Where Denmark still falls short is particularly outside the Copenhagen region where commuting remains heavily car based, not least because public transportation options enabling mixed cyclist transit have been thoroughly neglected by car-happy right leaning governments for quite some time. Copenhagen has relatively left leaning city governance and can (and does) largely push cycling developments on its own. It's my impression that The Netherlands as your examples also indicate have far better developed cycling paradigms across its smaller towns.

But there's an interesting historical precedent for your shared environment here, prior to cars dominating traffic for a century:



The current implementation sees substantially more area delegated to bikes than cars though... they are resigned to a narrow central path... again... the amount of cyclists at peak hours is so substantial that lanes really do seem somewhat required here... I bike on this road every day:



But I do think a car ban in most of the central city is entirely feasible. Goods delivery (of which quite a lot already happens by cargo bikes today) can go out in the early hours. Ambulances and busses would be exempt... handicap transports likewise - under restrictions. Getting there politically takes some effort though.
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Old 04-03-19, 09:45 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by nuxx View Post
I'll follow you so far as the (quite successful) branding exercise is definitely a substantial part of it... but then the initial comparison was between two metropolitan regions of more than 2m population - as these pose substantially larger internal traffic/commuting challenges relative to sub 500k population cities... in this context I don't think it's meaningful to juxtapose a relatively minor urban area like Groningen. The parameters are simply not remotely comparable... more than the entire population of Groningen bikes through central CPH daily. But it seems you agree Amsterdam is certainly overrated in this respect?
I'd say it's overrated as a cycling friendly city and probably underrated as a cycling city. Amsterdam has always typical Amsterdam issues. But personally I experience the situation on the bike lanes as quite cycling unfriendly and the narrow streets in the old centre and the many smaller streets outside as pretty friendly.



I simply don't see this type of ad-hoc pathing functioning safely in a heavily congested metropolis. I assume your example road doesn't see an average of 2500 cyclists/hour like the one I depicted above?
I'm quite sure there are roads where 2500 cyclists pass within an hour, not every hour but regularly. More than 500 in about 5 minutes occurs too on some occasions, it's not really an issue that requires police assistence or something, just patience from the driver behind.

It's a fair comment about Groningen, and I do recognize there are scale related issues, but also other issues. Groningen for example is basically the only real city in the entire and not very populated North, and has only three railways coming in. So a lot of visitors the local economy is depending on come by car. Utrecht is a 350K city with a 500K urban area and is part of an 8M urbanized area. I believe it claims to have the busiest bikelane in the world. I don't know Utrecht that well, but I believe it lacks wide streets with triple lanes of cars into the city centre.

I'm actually not sure about statistics from the 80s... nor do I think it's particularly relevant today... I reckon a lot of catching up was done since. Where Denmark still falls short is particularly outside the Copenhagen region where commuting remains heavily car based, not least because public transportation options enabling mixed cyclist transit have been thoroughly neglected by car-happy right leaning governments for quite some time. Copenhagen has relatively left leaning city governance and can (and does) largely push cycling developments on its own. It's my impression that The Netherlands as your examples also indicate have far better developed cycling paradigms across its smaller towns.
I think it's relevant to what people consider normal and just do. That often has to do with what their parents do and what they were used to themselves. I believe one important factor why Denmark and the Netherlands have substantial cyclis is that the time between the mass emergence of the car and the restoration of cycling was relatively short. At about 50 my dad started cycling to work just like he did when he was about 20. Mentally it can't have been a big step, for today's Brits and Americans it is.

Small towns and the rural Netherlands are much more car oriented but the bike has always remained in the fabric. Not because of great public transport, it can take a while in many regions, but because kids have to go to school, sport clubs and music lessons while they want their independence, their parents want to pay visits or go out and have a few drinks, while pensioners want the recreation and exercise (before having a few drinks). I don't believe they ever fallen out of love with the convenience of the bike.

But there's an interesting historical precedent for your shared environment here, prior to cars dominating traffic for a century:

The current implementation sees substantially more area delegated to bikes than cars though... they are resigned to a narrow central path... again... the amount of cyclists at peak hours is so substantial that lanes really do seem somewhat required here... I bike on this road every day:

But I do think a car ban in most of the central city is entirely feasible. Goods delivery (of which quite a lot already happens by cargo bikes today) can go out in the early hours. Ambulances and busses would be exempt... handicap transports likewise - under restrictions. Getting there politically takes some effort though.
There's not much relevant difference between the biggest of electric cargo bikes and a van. I saw some 1919 footage of Groningen recently and there isn't much difference between the carts and today's cars either: They are wider, not as agile as a bike, take more space and there's more horse dung on the streeets. There wasn't much difference alltogether, fewer bikes and relatively more pedestrians and slightly less people in general. It is a return to how things were because things were better traffic wise.

Part of the paradigm shift is that cars don't need to go faster than bikes just because they can. The city centre here is actually quite accessable by car because you're one of the few trying, it's just accepted that it will take more time which limits it to a few. Just force them into functional detours and slow them down and their numbers will drop without much drama and you can have a few of those beautiful wide roads for mainly the bicycle. That's next level. They might need it's width if you want to accomadate the speed of E-bikes and the next generation of cyclists safely.
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