green streets
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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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Floating Bicycle Roundabout: What real respect for bicyclists looks like

Floating Bicycle Roundabout: What real respect for bicyclists looks like | green streets |
Take a ride on this floating roundabout for cyclists, in the Netherlands of course.

Drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians all compete for space and safety on the streets of the world’s cities and suburbs. It’s a contentious coexistence, and the ultimate form of respect for any road user is properly designed infrastructure that allows that a person to travel with comfort and safety. In the United States, it’s clear who gets real respect (and infrastructure spending) on a regular basis- that would be the people driving cars.

Drivers have specialized facilities in abundance – take the Interstate Highway System. Pedestrians are more often an afterthought in American road design, although in some communities they are afforded crosswalks and signals designed with varying degrees of sophistication (leading pedestrian intervals, countdown clocks, etc.). And cyclists have a small but growing number of bike lanes – which are more comfortable and useful if they are separated from cars by more than just a stripe of paint. But paint is usually all cyclists get...

So what does real respect for bicyclists look like in practice? Well, one manifestation is the graceful new Hovenring, a "floating" bicycle roundabout that opened recently in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Suspended above the roadway, the roundabout gives bikers a completely separated route over the highway. The roundabout is also lovely to look at, with a central column designed to be a beacon indicating the entrance to the community....

A. S. CohenMiller's comment, September 5, 2012 4:13 PM
Ridiculously clever and simple!
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Why There's No War Between Drivers and Cyclists in the Netherlands

Why There's No War Between Drivers and Cyclists in the Netherlands | green streets |
Dutch people aren't born knowing the rules of the road. They're taught from an early age.

Bicycling is such an integral part of life in the 

What’s kind of wonderful is the way that they learn.

It’s not just a matter of going to the park with a parent, getting a push, and falling down a bunch of times until you can pedal on your own. Dutch children are expected to learn and follow the rules of the road, because starting in secondary school – at age 12 – they are expected to be able to ride their bikes on their own to school, sometimes as far as nine or 10 miles.

Because this independent travel for children is valued in Dutch society, education about traffic safety is something that every Dutch child receives. There's even a bicycle road test that Dutch children are required to take at age 12 in order to prove that they are responsible cycling citizens...

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