Kenniscentrum voor fietsbeleid

Oslo: cycling in the opposite direction is not much of a problem


Research was conducted in Oslo to determine the effectiveness of allowing two-way cycling traffic on roads that are one-way for cars. The conclusion is that the cyclists are happy, the motorists less so.


The cycling lanes running in both directions on an originally one-way road are laid out with red asphalt and wide, dashed road markings. Research was done by the Norwegian Centre for Transport Research before and after the modification. This showed that cycling increased by 50 percent, especially in the direction opposite to the original one-way direction. According to the researchers, part of this traffic originated in adjoining streets. A survey also showed that cyclist rode less on the pavement (from 47% to 22% in the street with wide pavements and from 23 to 5% in the other street).
Pedestrians and motorists responded differently. Pedestrians felt somewhat more unsure but were not against the measure. Motorists were more negative, especially in the street where the extra bike lane was constructed at the expense of parking facilities. Video observations confirmed that there were less conflicts. The Norwegian researchers concluded that the measure was successful and could also be implemented elsewhere.

Herman (M.J.M.) Lodewyckx (Werkgroep Fietseling Oostende)
01-05-2013 @ 16:20

In Oostende (Be) hebben we al enkele jaren bekomen dat het stadsbestuur alle straten tweerichitngsverkeer toelaten (uitzonderingen mogelijk). Dat hoeft niet altijd met een tweede strook gepaard te gaan. Automobilisten zijn misschien wel boos, maar ons argument als fietser is eenvoudig: wil je liever de ganse tijd achter een trage fietsers rijden, of even korte tijd. Bij mijn weten is er in al die jaren nog een enkel ongeval gesignaleerd te wijten aan die tegenligger-fietser.

Ulric Schollaert (Ministerie van het Brussels Gewest)
30-07-2013 @ 12:21

Same in Brussels, which is NOT a city with a cycling tradition like many Flemish cities in Belgium are (Brussels had only a 1% share in the modal split for cycling in 2000, up to 4% now).  (almost) All (local) streets were opened in contraflow with minimal markings around 2004-2005.  A recent report (to be published shortly) by the Road Safety Institute (IBSR) reveals the measure is extra-safe even in such a hostile environment as Brussels.  Only some streets with heavier traffic require the type of markings seen here in the Oslo example (or, rarely, full segregation).  Come and see for yourselves.  Belgian legislation REQUIRES local authorities to turn their one-way streets into contraflows, UNLESS it can be proven that there is some form of danger that cannot be dealt with with facilities / markings (which is indeed VERY rare).  There is enough research about that to turn that into a Europe-wide requirement...  Contraflows all over the place has been essential in kick-starting the rise of cycling in Brussels :  it hardly takes away anything from motorists (they only have to pay a little more attention, but they learn quickly when the measure is "just everywhere"), and it gives a lot to cyclists (especially in hilly cities like Brussels).  We have done it in ALL streets, not only the ones with a 30 km/h speed limit.  And the safety records are there to see now.

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