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Zwolle, nominee for best cycling city in the Netherlands 2014

Zwolle, nominee for best cycling city in the Netherlands 2014


A typical scene in the Netherlands:
someone cycling past a windmill. This is the city of Zwolle,
that like any Dutch city has excellent cycling facilities,
such as separate cycle tracks with priority. So all kinds of people cycle.
People feel safe enough to cycle with their babies,
with toddlers in tow or children in a “bakfiets”. Until these children are old enough to
cycle by themselves and later alone, to a sports club for
instance. Zwolle has a beautiful old city centre,
with well-known landmarks and the old city moat and wall. People arrive here by bicycle.
To visit a museum, or to shop in the car-free streets. streets which are for cycling and walking. with so many people cycling
cycle parking can become a bit of a challenge, like in many Dutch cities. Roundabouts are of the standard Dutch type
with priority for cycling. This makes them easy enough
for children. Even children with special needs. There are numerous wayfinding signs
and on most tracks you can cycle well-protected
from motor traffic. There is also no interaction with buses,
or bus passengers Junctions can handle large amounts of
people cycling and they can cross roads in a safe way. Sometimes there are even separate
cycle lanes for different directions. Not all cycle ways are alongside roads,
making them even more attractive. Larger junctions have traffic lights
with waiting time indicators. So more people obey red lights. Crossings of roads that are even larger
are usually grade-separated. Zwolle has many wide tunnels that take you under roads with heavy traffic. The tunnels have a separate side walk too. More modern tunnels, like this one
under rail-road tracks, are much more open and light,
to enhance the feeling of safety. Zwolle has one thing that is different
from most Dutch cities: a legacy of many more cycle lanes
than usual. Most of these cycle lanes are
wide enough but they make junction design
much more complicated. Most people do not like cycling
this close to a bus. To a Dutch eye these cycle lanes
look very old fashioned, leading too much more interaction
between motor traffic and cycling, than is usual in the rest
of the Netherlands. These cycle lanes look like relics
of a different era. Not something you
would want to see more of. Newer cycle infrastructure is very
different and of a type you see everywhere in the Netherlands. Bi-directional wide cycle tracks
on one side of larger roads. Making cycling convenient and fast. Zwolle also has many bicycle streets. Streets where most traffic cycles
and where cars are guest. Not allowed to go faster than cyclists.
Entire streets can be bicycle streets but they can also be service streets
alongside a bigger road. Zwolle also dares to innovate with a bicycle roundabout.
One where cars cannot drive a full circle but cyclists – who also have priority – can. An already successful innovation. Cycling in Zwolle is safe, convenient
and fast. Many people of many different
types and backgrounds cycle. Zwolle is a worthy candidate to be
Best Cycle City of the Netherlands in 2014.

19 thoughts on “Zwolle, nominee for best cycling city in the Netherlands 2014

  1. I'm not so sure about the "fietsstraat". So far I've encountered only one (Dorpsstraat in Castricum). To me it felt like I was holding up traffic and had cars right up my rear wheel, so I ended up letting them pass me.

    It kinda looks like the fietsstraat uses the cyclist as a way of slowing traffic. This might work in some places, but shouldn't those places be 30km/h zones with low traffic already? When more fietsstraten are implemented there are bound to be places where it's not appropriate and cyclists will get more issues with cars.

    This is my view, but I guess time will tell as they're so new.

  2. @ Philip Mc Adam: point is, you don't have to pay EXTRA taxes to afford this. Cycling infrastructure pays for itself and more. It is cheaper than building extra space for the car. For one car, you can accommodate lots of cyclists. Read Hembrow's blog:  aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2011/06/cycling-infrastructure-is-cheaper-to.html

  3. The only places even remotely approaching this standard on the uk are Stevenage and Milton Keynes and neither are any where near as pleasant.

  4. Nice video,
    Mark you are welcome to Almere also nominated as Cycling city
    (fietsstad2014) and I will show you arround 

  5. Youtube comments are buggy and annoying. This reply was meant for Philip McAdam:

    It's a chicken and egg problem I feel. "Build it and they will come". I am guessing that where you live not everybody is cycling because cycling is clearly not made fit for everybody.

    For example: if I had a ski slope next to my house, I would probably use it sometimes. But there isn't, so I don't.

    It really is that simple I think 🙂

  6. I think that Eindhoven and Velsen seem like the best nominees this year! Thanks for this comparison between all the nominees, it is very useful – perhaps your best set of videos to date!

  7. hahahaha Hilarious, Cycle lanes are relics although they are novelty in many parts of the world…
    Also I've noticed dutch roads tend to be narrow roughly 1 or 2 lanes also on street parking seems to be uncommon,
    Am I wrong?
    parking is the biggest complaint of car drivers in my city, funny they say that they don't see the paint
    when parking but fortunately is very rare to have people invading them while driving.

  8. nothing special about this,   I drove from Zwolle to Goes in Zealand in one day, all over bike paths…   right through Rotterdam,,

  9. I am full of envy of this place. I am from a hot place. Cycling is not a pleasure especially with very heavy traffics. Cars choked up the streets and everyone look so pathetic stuck in traffic jams. The Dutch are smarter.

  10. many many cycle stand in this video
    india also have many many stand.. and that is bike stand. bus stand. but we don't have cycle stand.
    why. indian people shem to ride bike cycle I don't know why…
    but I don't feel shem to ride bike cycle ride..
    but I love to ride cycle…
    many many thank to this video.
    God bless u all.
    Richard. …

  11. vast majority of the world is on motor traffic. This type of infrastructure is only applicable to if the vast majority are on non motorized vehicles.😎

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