Resources

There are many large cities in continental Europe which are wonderful places to live and work, for example Vienna, Zurich, Munich, Copenhagen and Amsterdam. Some of these cities are better at public transport, others at cycling; their approaches are quite varied. There is no such thing as *best* practice.

There’s nothing like visiting a range of cities and countries to get a feel for what might be done (or speaking to someone who’s already done that). Short of that, there are now considerable amounts of Dutch and Danish materials available in English. However, you need to be careful: these are translations of how they address their own situations, and not always directly applicable to the UK. They also tend to focus on cycling to the exclusion of public transport.

Some quite useful older papers have never been published on-line, including these two on roundabouts and cycle lane widths. So I have scanned them.

Oskar Balsiger “Roundabouts – Swiss Experience” Paper to 1999 Graz/Maribor VeloCity conference

Key points: on-road use of roundabouts can be cycle-friendly, with upto 30,000 motor-vehicles per day, if the roundabout outer diameter is 24-34m, the circulating carriageway is 8m or less, the entries and exits are single-lane and traffic is deflected on entry. Cycle lanes may be used on the approach (there is no requirement to merge them into the traffic lane). Roundabouts can be made cycle-friendly with quite large volumes of traffic, if the geometry is right.

You may wish to compare with the UK Department for Transport’s Traffic Advisory Leaflet 9-97 Cyclists at roundabouts – continental design geometry.

Danish Road Directorate “Safety of Cyclists in Urban Areas” Part 3 of a 1994 summary report of a number of Danish safety studies, covering links between junctions

Key points: Cycle lanes give slight safety benefits. But more interestingly, the short paragraph at the top of page 13 is the source of Dutch assertions that narrow cycle lanes (less than 1.2m) are 3-4 times more dangerous than wider ones. So they are – for mopeds. There was no observable difference for cyclists. Narrow cycle lanes can be perfectly adequate, if that’s all the space that is available.

Delft Room for the Bike (RVDF) A report on the heavy investment by the Netherlands National Government in a fine-grain cycle network in Delft.

Key points: National government investment did not lead to further investment by the local authority.