Over the past two days we visited sites in Delft and nearby Delfgauw to better understand the different types of bike facilities used by the Dutch. During the tours, we took time to observe the different people using the facilities and think about the trade-offs that were made when it came to safety, convenience, space, and cost.
I was excited to spend more time looking at advisory lanes (also called “suggestion lanes” in the Netherlands) primarily because they are still considered an experimental treatment in the U.S. For this treatment, dashed bikes lanes are typically marked on both sides of the street, the centerline is removed, and a narrow vehicle lane is shared between approaching motor traffic. This requires oncoming motor traffic to give priority to bicyclists before moving into the bike lane to avoid a head-on collision. This treatment is typically used on streets where streets are too narrow to comfortably fit two bicycle lanes and two travel lanes, and too busy to comfortably mix bicyclists and cars in the travel lanes.
It was particularly interesting to look at their application in an urban environment (e.g., Hugo de Grootstraat) versus a rural one (e.g., Schimmelpenninck van der Oyeweg). After visiting both contexts and seeing how busy the urban context felt, it makes more sense why it might be easier to implement these in a rural or suburban context. Currently, the only municipalities to install advisory lanes in the U.S. are Minneapolis and the Town of Hanover, NH. The City of Portland has yet to install advisory lanes because of a kink in Oregon state law that says that there are only specific circumstances in which an automobile may enter a bike lane, and avoiding a head-on collision is not one of them.
Read more on the facilities and my reflections here >> Bike Facilities in and around Delft