July 17, 2012

Should the bollards on bike paths stay or go?

Filed under: Bicycles by Orangemaster @ 4:08 pm

Cyclists union Fietsersbond says it’s high time to remove bollards from bike paths, which account for some 300 serious injuries every year in Amsterdam, and surely across the country. The city still has a lot of them (quite different from the one in the picture), but how much of a big deal is it? What if people just watched out a bit more or is that too easy to say?

Wikipedia says since trucks push over the bollards and smaller cars pass between them, the use of bollards doesn’t prevent cars from parking on sidewalks. Sidewalks in Amsterdam are currently being slightly elevated from the streets, meaning that the bollards are no longer needed to separate the sidewalk from the street.”

So why still have them on bike paths? And is removing them worth it?

When cycling home slightly drunk from the pub, tired from work or through rain that cuts down on your visibility, you can miss a lot on the bike path, including things like broken glass (nails?) à  la Tour de France. You could be that cargo bike mum arguing with your whinging offspring or being the douchebag chatting with your BFF on the phone not paying any attention to stuff on the road.

If the bollards don’t work anyways, why not just get rid of them? It would save 300 trips to the hospital. You could also assume than many of those trips are tourists, blame tourists for making this an issue and just say that people should pay more attention when they cycle.

Either way, pick the cheapest is my Amsterdam answer. I’m more worried about the douchebags on the phone, especially the ones cycling with children, reminding me what bad parenting looks like.

(Link www.parool.nl, Photo: Jihyun David)

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