Part of understanding reports on bicycle infrastructure require acknowledging that not all bicycle infrastructure is the same. This post is an outstanding critique of a dated study that is cited as showing that cycletracks “don’t work”. Yet, the infrastructure studied herein bears little resemblance to the best practices that are now being employed in The Netherlands and occasionally elsewhere as it was conducted and reported on before some of the latest treatments were even in use. All of t hose things need to be included in the discussion, but they’re always conveniently not mentioned.
I often see people refer to studies of German cycleways where the conclusion is that they’re dangerous, then claiming that these studies are evidence that all cycleways are therefore dangerous.
(Actually, I say ‘studies’ but it’s usually just a link to this, an English summary of one study from 30 years ago, written by one of Forester’s army of tedious greybeards.)
There is this false notion of “northern European countries” being some homogenous mass, all of them covered with identical cycling infrastructure, and that means a German study critical of German cycle infrastructure is therefore critical of the very concept of cycle infrastructure.
But the truth is that there’s huge variation between these countries. The Netherlands leads by a country mile, Denmark a distant second, and everywhere else is a runner-up. The UK didn’t even enter the race.
To use the phrase “northern European countries” with regards to good…
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