Floating Bicycle Infrastructure

The extent to which a population cycles depends on what infrastructure is available to them. Striped bike lanes? That will encourage some people to venture out on bicycles. Dedicated lanes that are physically separate from traffic? That move makes bicycling even more appealing, especially to new cyclists. The Netherlands takes the proverbial cake for bicycle friendly infrastructure, though, especially with the recent opening of a dedicated bicycle roundabout that “floats” above a busy vehicular intersection.

largest

The roundabout is located in Eindhoven, a suburban setting that would look familiar in many parts of the United States. Large streets carrying lots of fast moving vehicles meet at a traffic circle (okay, not so typical in the US!), something that could be tricky for cyclists to safely navigate.

hovenring-before

The original design of the roundabout already had bicycle paths that were physically separate from the road, although cyclists still had to cross the roads at traffic signals. This design vastly improves on standard practice in most countries, but for the Dutch, it was not safe enough.

hovenring2

The new bicycle and pedestrian roundabout is suspended from cables as it floats above the motorized vehicles below. It creates a safe path as well as an aesthetically pleasing gateway announcing your entry into the community. Interestingly, you’ll notice that the roundabout for the motorized vehicles has been removed in favor of a typical right-angle intersection.

It seems to me that these type of infrastructure investments are very beneficial to society. They encourage more people to travel under their own power and increase transportation safety at the same time. This reduces traffic congestion and energy consumption, both worthy results. Plus, the roundabout’s design is elegant.

 

0 thoughts on “Floating Bicycle Infrastructure

  1. This is great and we have the round about intersections out at the ocean as well as bike lanes but no suspended. Great shots and what a wonderful idea for a heavy traffic area.

  2. Neat and practical. Great idea. We have such narrow bike paths, and these were built after a couple of young kids were accidentally killed by motorists. Cities in the US should plan something like this for the biking population.

  3. What other options is there when there is a car traffic mix and pedestrians? In Beverly Hill they have tried the pedestrian cross walk signal. All cars are stopped and pedestrians can cross the street or even go catty corner (from the Northeast corner to the Southwest corner instead of just northeast to south east or North west). It is easier to post an illustration of how that signal works.

  4. @stepaside_loser – @beowulf222 – @Inciteful – @ElusiveWords – @whyzat – @murisopsis – @Fatcat723 – @chronic_masticator – @slmret – @Grannys_Place – @Devilzgaysianboi – @ZSA_MD – @Vitamin_D – @KnightInCROATIANarmor – Yes, it does seem like an elegant solution. The safer we make the streets, the more people who will use them in different ways.@PPhilip – I’ve seen those “all pedestrian” intersections in many cities from Tokyo to New York to Hong Kong. They work wonders for reducing vehicle-pedestrian accidents but of course don’t do much to prevent bicycle-motor vehicle accidents.

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