What distinguishes Dutch driver behaviour from British behaviour is the design of the roads they use

All of this is doubly true in the United States and especially here in the Inland Empire, where are roads are built to fantastical ‘minimum standards’ and to handle capacity several decades in the future. It should be no surprise to find that our roads are so fantastically hostile when even Dutch drivers exhibit the same behaviors when given the chance.

As Easy As Riding A Bike

There was a revealing detail in Bicycle Dutch’s post last week on a (failed) attempt to create a cycle street in Utrecht in the 1990s.

One of the main cycle routes to the Utrecht University, Burgemeester Reigerstraat, was completely transformed and re-opened as a bicycle street in November 1996. The street got a median barrier to prevent motor vehicles from overtaking people cycling.

Here’s a picture of that arrangement, from Mark’s blog.

burg-reigerstraat02Note here Mark’s description of driver behaviour on this street –

Emergency services also complained and they warned about dangerous situations because they were held up. Impatient car drivers were seen overtaking cyclists with two wheels on the barrier. [my emphasis]. This scared people cycling onto the narrow side-walk and that in turn frightened pedestrians. A good two years later (in January 1999) a new Utrecht council terminated the experiment. The centre barriers were…

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