1. First roundabout with bike paths and right of way for cyclists
Enschede, Knalhutteweg, roundabout with bike paths. In the 1980s the roundabout was reinvented. Traffic on the roundabout received the right of way and speeds were limited by the use of tight curves. Initially cyclists on these new roundabouts did not receive the right of way. The only exception was when cyclists used bicycle lanes on the actual roundabout itself. Local authorities in Enschede felt the need for a more bicycle-friendly arrangement and developed an alternative with bike paths and bicycles with right of way.
2. Circular bike path
The Enschede model is characterised by a circular bike path. The space between bike path and lane is paved. The lay-out emphasises that the bike path is part of the roundabout. For traffic participants it is therefore a matter of course that cyclists on the roundabout also have right of way over traffic approaching the roundabout. And that motorists leaving the roundabout are turning off and therefore have to yield to cyclists continuing on the roundabout.
3. Space to line up
The distance between lane and bike path is 5 metres. This provides enough room for a single car to line up. Approaching motorists may yield twice (first to cyclists, then to motor vehicles) without obstructing the bike path. And motorists leaving the roundabout may provide free passage to cyclists continuing on the roundabout without obstructing the roundabout lane.
4. Lay-out details
The bike path is red asphalt and continues on the same level over all connections. The bike approaches to the circular bike path have small counterarcs in order to provide a right-angled connection. Mopeds often cut corners by driving over the pavement triangle. Since 1999, however, mopeds over a certain capacity have to use the lane. Contrary to (later) CROW recommendations no pedestrian crossings have been provided. Lighting consists of four light towers with double fittings in the traffic islands.
5. Intensities en location
The roundabout lies in a park-like area within the town, at an intersection of wide local roads. Approximately 15,000 motor vehicles and 2,500 cyclists use the roundabout daily. Quite a lot of traffic, but not exceptionally busy for a single-lane roundabout.
Owing to its experimental status several studies into its safety have been conducted in the first number of years. These provided a (highly) positive image. A study in 1996 showed that in the first four years not a single accident with injuries had occurred. However, in that period two cyclists and one moped rider had been involved in accidents with material damage only. These were collisions by motorists approaching the roundabout and failing to yield. The two cyclists were illegally riding against traffic.