Bicycle Reflection

One of the key principles that stood out to me from these videos was how streets were planned to include cyclists. This was very apparent in the video, Utrecht: Planning for People & Bikes, Not for Cars. I was shocked to learn that only 12 to 15% of street traffic is attributed to cars. I have never heard of bike storage garages before, but this service goes to show how the city is built for people rather than cars. Because many of Utrecht’s streets are solely for bike use, the city enjoys a more peaceful environment. This design reminded me of how Siegfried Nassuth strived to create a utopian community by raising streets to keep the community living space free of motor traffic noise. The Junction design video also emphasized the importance of accommodating cyclists because it explained how bikers have separate traffic lights and barriers that protect them from cars. I wonder if the Dutch have any precautions in place to protect night cyclists? 

I drew a busy roundabout that leads to a commercial area with many apartments and restaurants. This would be a perfect place to implement Dutch street design because many people walk and bike in this area because there are many homes and apartments nearby. As labeled in my drawing, the pink lines represent pedestrian traffic lanes. Like in the Netherlands, walkers and bikers have the right of way, so the circle is connected throughout the roundabout. The blue line represents motor traffic lanes which are near the inner part of the roundabout to ensure the safety of bikers. The green dots are refugee islands, and the green shaded areas are protective barriers that shield the pedestrians lane from the motor vehicle lane. Overall, this design would place an emphasis on the safety of walkers and bikers and hopefully lead to more pedestrian traffic.

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2 thoughts on “Bicycle Reflection

  1. Your roundabout planning is very impressive; if I were a cyclist on this road, I would feel safe. The use of refugee islands to physically separate bicycles from cars is essential to creating this feeling; without them, cyclists would still be vulnerable to cars that veer too far outward in their turn.

    I really liked your connection to Nassuth. Urban planning, especially in the Netherlands, is always executed with lofty and communitarian ideals; yet, their design philosophies don’t always pan out. Nassuth’s architecture and cyclist-based planning both aim to achieve spaciousness, yet today’s videos seem to indicate that the latter has a more positive impact on the community than the former. I think of the children fighting cars in de Pijp, and remember the happy scene of people walking through the open street they had taken back. Perhaps it isn’t openness and greenery that helps communities thrive, but shared space that allows the community to intermingle and unite.

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  2. Your planning to improve your roundabout looks perfect! I agree with you, I was struck by how few cars account for traffic in the Netherlands, but it definitely helped me further understand why it really is a city for bikes and people. I wonder if the U.S would be willing to implement these types of setups in more urban cities where biking is becoming more frequent with city bike shares.

    I like your connection with Nassuth, while he’s had the same idea at the heart of protecting the city’s green spaces and charm it didn’t end up working. It makes me wonder what kinds of unseen consequences, if there are any, to having a city set up the way it is revolving around bikes.

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