September 26, 2011

How red asphalt is laid for bicycle riders

Filed under: Automobiles,Bicycles by Branko Collin @ 9:14 am

Mark Wagenbuur published this video of road workers resurfacing Parklaan in Den Bosch back in May, but I felt it was still interesting enough to share with the one or two of you who don’t already religiously follow his work. He wrote an accompanying piece at the A View from the Cycle Path blog.

Note that alongside the regular black asphalt for cars, two strips of red asphalt are laid. These will become the bike lanes. Two workers are continuously measuring the width of the prospective bike lines. I am not sure, but I assume this is to make sure the bike lanes have a minimum width. Remarkable, as there is no legal requirement to do so.

I don’t know why they use red for bike lanes. According to a 2002 article called Fietsvoorzieningen brengen kleur op straat by Fietsberaad, the decision is mainly a political one. It highlights that politicians supposedly care. Fietsberaad said in 2002 that red asphalt is three times more expensive to make.

Note that the famous Dutch Tiger Stone automatic road paver can also do bike paths by simply putting in the right coloured bricks.

(Video: Youtube / Markenlei)

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May 2, 2011

Bicycle parking detectors in Utrecht

Filed under: Bicycles by Branko Collin @ 8:03 am

Writes Mark Wagenbuur:

In an attempt to free more spaces the Railways built an electronic system near the railway station of Utrecht. It monitors the time bicycles are parked so bicycles that are parked too long (more than 14 days) can be removed to make much needed room for other bicycles. This is a trial in Utrecht and Groningen.

The system seems to do more than just spot orphan bicycles though. It will also show cyclists which sections of a parking garage have the most free spots. If like me you have ever tried to find the empty spot in the bicycle parking garage next to Central Station in Amsterdam, the only one always seemingly on the fourth floor, you know how useful such a system could be.

(Video: Youtube / Mark Wagenbuur)

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January 29, 2011

Amsterdam traffic 1900-1930 (video)

Filed under: Automobiles,Bicycles by Branko Collin @ 4:24 pm

Cycling videographer Mark Wagenbuur has released another doozy. His video shows traffic in early 20th century Amsterdam, with — you guessed it — a focus on bicycles.

I can’t help but notice that after a century:

  • People still cycle on the Leidsestraat, although it’s forbidden.
  • The corner of Spui and Singel is still riddled with lousy infrastructure.
  • A ferry still carries thousands of pedestrians and cyclists towards Orangemaster’s old neighbourhood, although these days buses take the tunnel.
  • Pets still run across the Vijzelstraat, but these days cars go much faster, and the cat I saw cross a year ago was lucky to come out of that clash alive.

What’s changed: there are no more horse, dog, or man-drawn carts for transport. Compare it to this vid which starts at the exact same spot on the Leidsestraat.

(Video: YouTube / Mark Wagenbuur)

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