Dutch cycling lessons for transport planners

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Dutch cycling lessons for transport planners

Postby il padrone » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:29 am

While looking for some materials on commuters cycling in the Netherlands I came across this video by Streetfilms of a US study tour that is very revealing and informative about the variety of cycling facilities and approaches in the Netherlands.

Enjoy it.

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by BNA » Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:24 pm

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Re: Dutch cycling lessons for transport planners

Postby Howzat » Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:24 pm

Very good. Interesting they had to battle to get those bike paths built, instead of just building more and more roads and carparks (and then wondering why the traffic is so bad. :roll:).

I'd love to take a few weeks in the Netherlands just to ride bikes on those kinds of bicycle priority paths.

Certainly a change from the traditional Australian conception of transport policy...

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Re: Dutch cycling lessons for transport planners

Postby il padrone » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:02 pm

Howzat wrote:Certainly a change from the traditional Australian conception of transport policy...

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Ironic photo that you post. Because while Australian cinema was dreaming of armageddon, the Dutch were facing up to it (1970s oil crisis) and doing something about it.

So sad really.
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Re: Dutch cycling lessons for transport planners

Postby RonK » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:43 pm

No doubt the Dutch cycling experience is emotionally appealing, and it would be wonderful to have even some similar facilities in Australian cities. But I think proponents need to take of their rose coloured glasses and see what cycling in Holland is really like.

The Dutch newspaper Trouw recently said in places like Amsterdam and Utrecht, the increase in bicycles is giving rise to new phenomena that include bicycle traffic jams, pile-ups, parking problems and bicycle rage.
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Re: Dutch cycling lessons for transport planners

Postby il padrone » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:50 pm

RonK wrote:The Dutch newspaper Trouw recently said in places like Amsterdam and Utrecht, the increase in bicycles is giving rise to new phenomena that include bicycle traffic jams, pile-ups, parking problems and bicycle rage.

....and it'd be so much better if they all drove cars instead !

:P :P :P
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Re: Dutch cycling lessons for transport planners

Postby Summernight » Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:45 pm

il padrone wrote:
RonK wrote:The Dutch newspaper Trouw recently said in places like Amsterdam and Utrecht, the increase in bicycles is giving rise to new phenomena that include bicycle traffic jams, pile-ups, parking problems and bicycle rage.

....and it'd be so much better if they all drove cars instead !

:P :P :P


Imagine how many bicycles it has taken to reach this critical mass... :shock: 490,000 commute by bicycle in Amsterdam alone? Can you imagine what would happen if 490,000 all came into the city in single occupant cars? They'd not have anywhere to park those cars either... Especially not in some of these old European cities that never had wide streets in the first place (although I've never been to Amsterdam/ the Netherlands so maybe it is different there).

IMO expansion and population growth of a city/country will always need continual upgrading of transport routes (of all types) and storage options and you can't rest on your laurels. Which the Dutch transport body would surely know.

At the end of the day you can't keep expanding outwards, but you can go up. Japan has these wonderful car parks where you place the car in at the bottom (grabbing your stuff out first) and then the automatic car park elevator parks your car in a slot somewhere up above you. When you need the car back you stand on ground level and press the right button for your car and the car is taken out of its slot and lowered to ground level ready for you to drive out - no need for extra space to drive up the different levels and to back cars out of spots nor is there a need for extra space to allow passengers to get out of cars.

I don't understand why this method isn't implemented here - it is very efficient and space saving - think of all the extra cars that could be driven into Melbourne CBD. :roll:
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Re: Dutch cycling lessons for transport planners

Postby il padrone » Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:05 pm

Dutch bicycle parking facility in Apeldoorn.





The Japanes have a much more high-tech version (of course)


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Re: Dutch cycling lessons for transport planners

Postby Summernight » Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:27 pm

il padrone wrote:The Japanese have a much more high-tech version (of course)



I forgot about downwards. For some reason the spitting out of the bicycle in that clip made me laugh.
Less chance for stealing too because you can't SEE what's in the storage area as your card only codes to your bike, although it doesn't facilitate multiple users at once, but then again, the Dutch storage area has people handing back receipts one at a time.

Oh how I love the Japanese and their awesome inventions. Why can't this be implemented in Australia?
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Re: Dutch cycling lessons for transport planners

Postby Philipthelam » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:11 pm

il padrone wrote:
RonK wrote:The Dutch newspaper Trouw recently said in places like Amsterdam and Utrecht, the increase in bicycles is giving rise to new phenomena that include bicycle traffic jams, pile-ups, parking problems and bicycle rage.

....and it'd be so much better if they all drove cars instead !

:P :P :P


In a way,yes it would, because then you would have these car associated problems on the bike.

I think cycling in the Netherlands is often glorified. I was told by someone over there that they don't have road rage, they have bike rage. I'm not sure that people there actually enjoy cycling the way we do here, many only cycle because it is convenient. So swap australia and cars with bikes in Netherlands and you get the idea. I wouldn't want that to happen in australia. A place where cycling has lost its fun factor and just becomes another way of transport, a place where there are bike traffic jams and bike road rage. Doesn't sound to nice

Of course it will be a long way before we reach that point and bike infrastructure in Australia needs to be better.
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Re: Dutch cycling lessons for transport planners

Postby human909 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:37 pm

Philipthelam wrote:I think cycling in the Netherlands is often glorified. I was told by someone over there that they don't have road rage, they have bike rage. I'm not sure that people there actually enjoy cycling the way we do here, many only cycle because it is convenient. So swap australia and cars with bikes in Netherlands and you get the idea. I wouldn't want that to happen in australia. A place where cycling has lost its fun factor and just becomes another way of transport, a place where there are bike traffic jams and bike road rage. Doesn't sound to nice.


:roll: Yep, and when I lived in Amsterdam a friend of a friend of mine told me that in Australia there was open roads everywhere with no traffic and the only thing that you had to slow for was kangaroos. :roll: You seem to be conjecturing and making rather than thinking. A quick browse of these forums would reveal that bike traffic jams and bike rage exist here too. Funnily enough angry and aggressive people exist on all sorts of transport. Vehicles are as fun as you make them. For many people including myself the bicycle is primarily a transportation device. But that doesn't stop you from enjoying things. I can't help but smile riding in the morning sun.

Cycling is popular and common in the Netherlands BECAUSE most people enjoy it and find it practical and safe. This is largely due to infrastructure that aids cyclists. In Australia cycling is made difficult, most people don't find it practical and safe.

Have a look at videos of dutch cycling and you decide if people in the Netherlands hate cycling.
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Re: Dutch cycling lessons for transport planners

Postby il padrone » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:40 pm

Hmm.... yes they all look so unhappy about riding their bikes :(

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Re: Dutch cycling lessons for transport planners

Postby RonK » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:49 pm

il padrone wrote:Hmm.... yes they all look so unhappy about riding their bikes :(

Big deal - point a video camera at a bunch of school kids anywhere and they'll grin like maniacs.
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Re: Dutch cycling lessons for transport planners

Postby human909 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:21 pm

RonK wrote:
il padrone wrote:Hmm.... yes they all look so unhappy about riding their bikes :(

Big deal - point a video camera at a bunch of school kids anywhere and they'll grin like maniacs.


RonK what is your dispute here? Your nitpicking of the video presented may have some argument validity but to what end is your comment?

Do you actually believe that Dutch cyclist are unhappy cyclists? Do you believe that we cannot learn from dutch cycle planning?
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Re: Dutch cycling lessons for transport planners

Postby RonK » Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:09 pm

human909 wrote:RonK what is your dispute here? Your nitpicking of the video presented may have some argument validity but to what end is your comment?

Do you actually believe that Dutch cyclist are unhappy cyclists? Do you believe that we cannot learn from dutch cycle planning?

Why don't you go back and read my first post? I believe I've made my point quite clear. Dutch cycling is not quite the nirvana that many would have us believe.
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Re: Dutch cycling lessons for transport planners

Postby human909 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:23 pm

RonK wrote:Dutch cycling is not quite the nirvana that many would have us believe.

So you would readily take a TheAge.com article as basis for your argument? Or do you have a broader basis?

RonK wrote:No doubt the Dutch cycling experience is emotionally appealing, and it would be wonderful to have even some similar facilities in Australian cities. But I think proponents need to take of their rose coloured glasses and see what cycling in Holland is really like.


I've lived for 4 YEARS in Holland, Ronk. Yet you seem to think you know what cycling in Holland is really like from one Age article!? :lol:
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Re: Dutch cycling lessons for transport planners

Postby Philipthelam » Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:27 pm

I don't mean that people in Netherlands hate cycling but rather they don't enjoy it in the same way that many cyclists in Australia enjoy cycling. Do you know what I mean? Kind of like most drivers that drive to work everyday don't find driving very exciting and fun at all, but rather a way to get from A to B

Edit: Everyone is just picking at each others posts... Come on, surely you knew what I meant. I am tired and not very happy today and therefore what I post may not be as clear...BUT I didn't say that Dutch cyclists don't enjoy cycling. Arghhh I want to sleep but it looks like a long night ahead of me.
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Re: Dutch cycling lessons for transport planners

Postby human909 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:41 pm

Philipthelam wrote:I don't mean that people in Netherlands hate cycling but rather they don't enjoy it in the same way that many cyclists in Australia enjoy cycling. Do you know what I mean? Kind of like most drivers that drive to work everyday don't find driving very exciting and fun at all, but rather a way to get from A to B


There are many enthusiast cyclists in the Netherlands who cycling for recreation on weekends. They leave their OPA fiets at home, get dressed up in Lycra and cycling shoes and even don a helmet! In fact there has been a video repeated posted on this forum displaying this exact thing. The only difference is that cycling is so common in the Netherlands that it is the regular joes that are the majority and the enthusiasts who are the minority.

I don't see how this is a bad thing. There is still a very big enthusiast cycling culture in Holland and plenty of opportunity to enjoy it just as much if not more so as here. In fact a long ride in the Netherlands can take you International!
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Re: Dutch cycling lessons for transport planners

Postby RonK » Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:47 pm

human909 wrote:I've lived for 4 YEARS in Holland, Ronk. Yet you seem to think you know what cycling in Holland is really like from one Age article!? :lol:

No I don't - but one of my cycling companions grew up and lived there during the 60's, 70's and 80's, and still makes regular family visits. He's quite dismissive of the idea that the Dutch are enamored with cycling. He says that they cycle quite simply because they have no choice, there is not much land and a lot of people, and little room for cars. But what would he know. :roll:
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Re: Dutch cycling lessons for transport planners

Postby il padrone » Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:59 pm

Philipthelam wrote:I don't mean that people in Netherlands hate cycling but rather they don't enjoy it in the same way that many cyclists in Australia enjoy cycling.

I think the key point that I learn from what I read; hear from friends who have lived and travelled in the Netherlands; and view on various videos of cycling in the Netherlands; is that a very large number of people in Australia do not enjoy cycling, far more so than in the Netherlands. This is the key thing I would like to see us focus on changing.
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Re: Dutch cycling lessons for transport planners

Postby human909 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:07 pm

RonK wrote:He says that they cycle quite simply because they have no choice

Quite simply not true. My family in Holland was a two car family. The choice of using a car is certainly very much alive in Holland. Motor vehicle ownership is similar to most western countries (albeit on the low side). When using the car traffic in Holland is no more sever than here and often less so.

RonK wrote:He's quite dismissive of the idea that the Dutch are enamored with cycling.

I'm not suggesting all the dutch are 'enamored' with cycling any more than describing all Australians are 'enamored' with driving.

Getting from A to B isn't something most people get 'enamored' about.
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Re: Dutch cycling lessons for transport planners

Postby Howzat » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:41 pm

il padrone wrote: a very large number of people in Australia do not enjoy cycling, far more so than in the Netherlands. This is the key thing I would like to see us focus on changing.

Not enjoy cycling? C'mon... why would anyone not enjoy riding a bike in Australia?

We have the wide open spaces

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Scenic views

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State of the art infrastructure

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The open road awaits!

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Re: Dutch cycling lessons for transport planners

Postby il padrone » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:13 pm

:wink: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Hit the nail on the head.

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Re: Dutch cycling lessons for transport planners

Postby DavidS » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:20 pm

human909 wrote:
Philipthelam wrote:I don't mean that people in Netherlands hate cycling but rather they don't enjoy it in the same way that many cyclists in Australia enjoy cycling. Do you know what I mean? Kind of like most drivers that drive to work everyday don't find driving very exciting and fun at all, but rather a way to get from A to B


There are many enthusiast cyclists in the Netherlands who cycling for recreation on weekends. They leave their OPA fiets at home, get dressed up in Lycra and cycling shoes and even don a helmet! In fact there has been a video repeated posted on this forum displaying this exact thing. The only difference is that cycling is so common in the Netherlands that it is the regular joes that are the majority and the enthusiasts who are the minority.

I don't see how this is a bad thing. There is still a very big enthusiast cycling culture in Holland and plenty of opportunity to enjoy it just as much if not more so as here. In fact a long ride in the Netherlands can take you International!


I just don't believe it, criticising cycling because it is only a form of transport to get from A to B. So, we shouldn't encourage cycling as a transport option, only as a recreation. What a ridiculous argument.

I agree with Human909, the fact that the Dutch are not ecstatic about cycling is not a bad thing. Cycling is not just a recreation it is a form of transport. While I enjoy cycling, for me, it is a means to get to work. I rarely ride otherwise. I'd really like to know what is wrong with this Philipthelam.

Back to the video, a couple of observations: There was a "Copenhagen Lane" with parking on the outside (this was commented on in another thread). However, the very fundamental difference with this lane was that there were no driveways across the lane and, since I have been to Amsterdam and rode a bike only last year, I know the intersections work for bicycles too. Compare that to the lanes in Swanston St where crossing an intersection is fraught with danger and there are driveways every 10 metres to access car parks under apartment blocks. Secondly, I noticed a very small child riding with their parents on a separated bike lane next to a busy road. In Australia that sort of behaviour would get you on a nightly current affairs programme, it is nice to see that even very small children on bikes near traffic is considered normal.

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