Living Jackson

Benefits of cycling
Safest Roundabout Design for cyclists. The best of Dutch infrastructure is worth emulating.

Safest Roundabout Design for cyclists. The best of Dutch infrastructure is worth emulating.

This roundabout is for everyone between 2007 and 2012 there were just four collisions on this roundabout, all of them involved one car shunting another, no pedestrians, no cyclists. no drivers were hurt either. This is my usual route to town I don’t stop at all, I simply cycle straight past the roundabout and I continue on my way towards the city center. Pedestrians have separate paths from cyclists. This is required because otherwise there is conflict. There is a separate bay for buses to stop in. Cars also have their own bays for parking. There is no conflict along here. This is the other side of the street, my route home. There is much the same situation. Again the bus stop does not conflict with the cycle path. There is a separate path for pedestrians. And I don’t have to go all the way around the roundabout, I can turn left before the roundabout. And cross, using the central reservation, so that I only have to cross through traffic in one direction at a time. I then continue on a cycle path, on the other side of the road, the same cycle path as the video began with. It is possible to cycle all the way around the roundabout, and you can do so in most directions, because the cycle paths are all bi-directional. However in practice no-one does this, there is no requirement to do so. You can make any journey by crossing only some arms of the roundabout. It is occasionally necessary to slow to allow cars to pass, however, it is very rare to have to stop. It is generally the case that people cross only one arm of this roundabout. Or, like this lady ahead of me, you can make a right turn without using the roundabout at all. It is also possible to join roundabouts like this with cycle lanes. In this example, one arm of the roundabout does only have cycle lanes. And it is possible to come back from the cycle lane, onto the cycle path as well, and again this courses no problem at all, it’s all very smooth. It’s interesting to watch cars go round the roundabout. There is adverse camber which causes it to feel uncomfortable, to try and drive to quickly. You can also see how there are good sitelines, for both drivers and for cyclists. Everyone can see each other, and everyone has time to react. And that is one of the reasons why this is such a safe roundabout. Pedestrians can cross here without any problems at all, they have priority on the zebra crossing. But note how the cyclist crosses very easily, he could see where all of the traffic was before he began to cross. Everyone finds it safe here, people cycle with all types of bicycles. And people of all ages, and abilities, can cross this roundabout safely. Alot of school children use this roundabout, as in this group who are approaching now. They’ll say goodbye to some of their friends who carry on in a different direction. And then they pause very slightly and look both ways, and judge a good time to cross. And they can do all of this without having to put their feet down. It’s a very easy to understand junction. This roundabout is for everyone. It’s safe for all users.

26 comments on “Safest Roundabout Design for cyclists. The best of Dutch infrastructure is worth emulating.

  1. Great. Please could you do a study of all permitted powered vehicles on cycle paths and lanes? Including: e-bikes, invalid-buggies, scooters, micro-cars etc. How do cyclists feel about them?

  2. Dear mr Hembrow,

    the roundabouts with priority for bycicles in built up areas are as safe as this one, and better for cyclists. Especially if there is a lot of traffic.
    Kind regards,

  3. A great design, but what about the cyclists who like to ride at a greater speed than most? I have a relaxed cruise speed of 20 mph. Cycling is a major part of my fitness regime. Also, the roundabouts in Hull, UK. just don't have the space to implement this design, unless they do what the Dutch did and demolish some buildings. A really great design though, and this kind of thinking is the only way to encourage cycling in numbers in the UK.

  4. The major determinant whether to adopt this design seems to be traffic levels. According to CROW the conflict load is 1500 pcu/h but I think that how cars are grouped is also important. Does there have to be a steady stream rather than a pack of cars?

  5. Your voice has some sort of soothing/calm sound that makes it easy and nice to listen to. The video however needs some sort of stabilisation a bit more to be actually more enjoyable. And I do like some music or so behind it.

    Roundabouts are the best. This one is very nice, like the green 😛

  6. As a Dutchwoman I've always found it mindboggling why other countries don't implement these kinds of infrastructure solutions nationally. It is so much safer and easier.

  7. Cycle paths suck ass. Pedestrians are seemingly always walking on them in the way. They are never maintained properly. Bumps at every street crossing and driveway you cross. There usually isn't enough room to provide cycle paths and separate sidewalks in the US, so they build what is called "shared use paths" for bicyclists and pedestrians together- a glorified sidewalk where the bicyclist has to constantly dodge pedestrians.

  8. David, how safe is this system when existing roundabout is on a 3-lane street with 80 kmph posted speed and motorists are exiting at 40kmph.

  9. The safer you make it for cyclists, the more complaints you get.
    I have never seen better cycling facilities than those shown above. Anyone capable of riding a bike would have no problems here.
    So, let's all ride safely to our destinations, and make sure that the new-found safety for ALL road-users isn't compromised by cycle-racing idiots insisting on their 'right' to go 'riding among crocodiles'.

  10. If you're unable to safely navigate a normal roundabout with any vehicle, cyclists included, you need to deliver your driver's license to the nearest police station as soon as possible. If you don't have a driver's license you need to obtain one in order to learn some basic rules of the road.

  11. Not happen in the UK, government don’t care about cyclists, they just slap a bit of blue paint or green on the side of the road we’re it’s dangerous to cycle and call it a job well done.

    Cheep and quick, who cares if it’s not safe, the not the government

  12. This is where I’m proud to be Dutch! There’s legislation in place that protect vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians. And there’s even an article in the road and traffic act, that gives right of way to “people that have difficulty getting about” like disabled persons.

  13. Nice roundabout, when you have the room to lay it out like this its ideal. There is a british woman at 01:32 though, not sure why she is in the wrong lane.

  14. Here in Germany David, speaking from my experience, drivers would wait for a cyclist or pedestrian to cross one of the 'arms' of the roundabout. Saying that, if feels safer to cross the traffic lane entering the roundabout and a little riskier crossing the lane that leave the roundabout. It is therefore easier to go round clockwise (in Germany, where they drive on the right), so you [the cyclist] have a better view of the surrounding traffic, mainly because of the angle you need to rotate your head. Try it if I'm not making sense! Opposite sides would apply in the UK.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *