Thursday, July 5, 2012

Day 4 - Tour of Rijswijk and Den Haag and Discussion on Designing Multimodal Intersections - Day 4

Tour of Rijswijk and Den Haag

On the fourth day we had a tour of the suburb between Delft and The Hague, which is Rijswijk. Paul Wiggenraad, our host from TU Delft, is a resident of 25 years, so he has seen much change in traffic safety that he could share with the students. We had several stops along the way including the Den Haag train station. The Hague has two main stations, HS and Central (former SS), originating from two railway companies Hollandse Spoor (spoor is Dutch for railway) and Staatspoor (private company operating the lines built by the state). In 1938, these two merged in the Dutch National Railway systems. HS is a station on the Old Line (Amsterdam-Haarlem-Leiden-Den Haag-Delft-Rotterdeam) and SS is the terminal of the Utrecht-The Hague Line. 

The new entrance to the Den Haag HS station is modern. 

During the rebuild of the station, they added some fantastic
 bicycle tunnels underneath the old tracks. Pedestrians have similar access.

The station building dates from 1893 and is built in the classic Dutch style.
Obviously, much different than the backside of the building. Trams cross in front of
the station here and create a busy street that is a bit daunting to the first time visitor.

Along the Tour we stopped at a bicycle box that was used along the canal.
The vehicular travel lane is 7 feet wide, the bike lane is 4 feet and the opposing travel lane is 7 feet.
On-street parking is 6 feet and it was evident by all of the vehicles tight against the curb
and with their wheels (the larger ones at least) on the stripe to indicate parking.

We ended up on several bicycle highways, this particular overcrossing gave us
 a nice view of the cycletrack on the right hand side of the street, complete with the
separated right turn lane (note the stop bar set back 50 meters or more. The intent of
the setback is to limit the ability to make right turn on red and to improve visibility.
This sort of treatment has to reduce vehicluar capacity considerably.
It is worth nothing that the off-ramp to on-ramp movement (through at the signal crossing, in
other words what would be moving from from left to right in this view) is not allowed.
That movement could physically happen, but it isn't specifically allowed.  

Critique of Current Manuals

Upon returning to Delft, we had to resolve an issue with a flat tire and then we had a lecture on what we've seen and how that might be incorporated into our cities. Peter provided a summary of some of these elements as well as some of the limitations of the following documents.
AASHTO Bike Guide
NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide
He then proceeded to show the video: Junction Design the Dutch Way, after which  he advocated for designs of this nature with the students. The compromise for pedestrians is of interest and should be carefully considered. This is a subject worthy of more debate.

Separation of Through Cyclists from Right turning Traffic 

Peter Furth indicated that the Dutch manuals suggest separation of the right turning traffic and the cyclist movement when the right turn is greater than 150 vehicles.

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