A Dutch Cycling Problem

This video from the Netherlands was made because some cyclists were not happy at this rather awkward obstacle placed on a cycle path. It was implemented because local residents were fed up with scooters speeding on this cycle path.

Some Observations from Video.

  • I wish my biggest concern about cycling in Oxford was a few awkward turns to navigate! There are a few barriers like this in Oxford, but it doesn’t even register as a problem. This really wouldn’t dissuade me from cycling. Though it was a bit awkward for those with bike taxis!
  • It seems there are a huge numbers of cyclists using the cycle path, yet no-one looks like a cyclist!
  • Cars seem to give way to cyclists as matter of course. I couldn’t think of any place in UK where cycle lane has priority over a road!
  • It would require a big shift in attitude for drivers to give way to a predominantly cycle lane.
  • The barrier clearly doesn’t seem to stop speeding scooters anyway.


13 Responses to A Dutch Cycling Problem

  1. Anthony Cartmell June 18, 2012 at 7:04 am #

    I thought the Dutch had carefully-designed sinusoidal road humps for deterring high speed on cycle tracks? These make speeding very uncomfortable, but don’t affect bicycles much at all, at don’t block wider bicycles.

  2. HP June 17, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

    I think the barrier does serve well as an obstacle to slow down speeding scooters. I know the place and the scooters used to race by at >35 mph. To get past this thing, you need to slow down to maybe 7 or 8 mph, even if you try and go by the sides. So in that respect, it does work, especially at a crossing like this. The cars need to give way, and the motorists in Holland are used to slow cyclists, not necessarily to (speeding) scooters that suddenly pop up out of nowhere. So it’s for the scooter driver’s own safety as well.
    Besides that: in a cycling country like The Netherlands, these scooters are considered a plague. They’re noisy, dangerous and are mostly driven by *ssholes, if you pardon my French.

    • VC June 18, 2012 at 9:13 am #

      @HP Are scooters allowed on the cycle path? Are they generally allowed in cycle facilities in the Netherlands? If not then wouldn’t it be better to catch and fine the scooter rides than put a barrier in that inconveniences those on a cycle?

  3. Rodanthi June 17, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    Dear friend,
    I’m a cyclist from Greece and more particular from Athens. I cycle on a very frequent basis (both with cycling teams and solo), and what i am about to say here is meant in “the best of ways”….(please do excuse my english in case something it is incorrectly said). I don’t know if anyone of you has ever visited Athens (or any other Greek city), but i think that both “cyclists-in-the-UK” and “cyclist-in-Holland” (and any other european nationality cyclists) should ever complain about the cycling structure in their city (ok i’ve never been in the Netherlands, but i used to live in Leicester and i’ve also visited several european cities, so i can compare). Here in Athens we wish(!!) we could have obstacles like that, because struggling through car traffic and fighting with (taxi drivers mostly) all car drivers, bus drivers even motorists (who you may think they would sympathize us a bit more) is a cycling routine. As a cyclist and a European citizen, i envy the rest of you for the cycling culture that is developed over there and i really hope that one day things here will be half as good as over there. So be grateful
    Take care & cycle carefully
    Regards from Greece

    • twilwel June 17, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

      @Rodanthi The one reason we in the Netherlands have such excellent facilities (not the one featured here obviously) is that we keep on nagging it is still not good enough. When we stop nagging we’ll soon have this kind of bullsh*t everywhere in our cyclepaths.

      • Rodanthi June 17, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

        well that’s right off course, it is though unfortunate that here the cycle-nag sounds as a “joke” with all these s*** going on…..that’s it….i’m moving elsewhere =)

    • tejvan June 18, 2012 at 11:16 am #

      It’s a good point. I haven’t been to Athens yet. (though I was shocked at some European cities like Rome, where cyclists were rare and brave)

      Perhaps the economic crisis in Athens will encourage people to cycle rather than pay for petrol.

      • Rodanthi June 18, 2012 at 11:00 pm #

        haha….brave yes, but not so rare!!!

  4. Hortoris June 13, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    What do you expect from Cycles with no brakes?

    • Amsterdamize June 17, 2012 at 11:17 pm #

      No brakes? What on earth are you talking about? And what does that in itself have anything to do with this post?

  5. Pete Hummers June 12, 2012 at 3:15 pm #


  6. Vernon Davis June 12, 2012 at 7:47 am #

    What , pray, are the distinguishing criteria for looking like a cyclist, other than riding a cycle?

    • Hurumph June 13, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

      I agree with Tejvan: I guess more than 300 cyclists go through these barriers and not one has a helmet on, not one has cycling lycra: they are ‘normal’ people, dressed normally and not separate and distinguished as being from another tribe – easier for car drivers to see them as ‘like us’ or ‘our’ children or siblings etc.

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