1. Bicycle roundabout prevents blind spots
Lelystad, Museumweg, bicycle roundabout. Local authorities in Lelystad have constructed a ‘bicycle roundabout’ at Bataviastad in October of 2006. On this particular roundabout the red-asphalt lane for cyclists is not located on the outside, but in the middle of the road. This is a pilot project whose final results have been evaluated in 2012.
2. Location and intensities
The new bicycle roundabout is near the Bataviastad outlet centre, in an area under development. Intensities are still low, with approx. 2,000 motor vehicles and approx. 130 bicycles per 24 hours. Due to new construction these will increase in the near future. The east entrance to the roundabout is located on Houtribdreef. The original lay-out of Lelystad called for a drastic separation of bicycle and motorised traffic. No bicycles are allowed on the avenues. Cyclists have their own network of solitary bike paths.
3. Bicycle lane in the middle of the road
No separate bike paths have been constructed on this roundabout, as space would not allow this. The advantage of a bicycle lane in the middle of the roundabout is that bicycles and mopeds avoid blind spots of lorries. Car drivers, too, have a better view of cyclists. Local authorities have observed actual practices a number of times. Cyclists have no problems with the situation. For car drivers it sometimes needed some getting used to. A drawback is the fact that cyclists can no longer enter the roundabout conflict-free.
There was discussion on the legal status of a bicycle lane in the middle of the road. According to Reglement Verkeersregels en Verkeerstekens (art. 3.1), the relevant article, cyclists should keep to the right as much as possible. According to experts, however, a bicycle lane does not affect this. Others maintain however that all road users should keep to the right as much as possible on the part of the road assigned to them. In this case that means the bicycle lane. The evaluation indicates that the situation is not legally correct because the cycle track doesn’t give exclusive space for the cyclists. However, it was a pilot situation. The evaluation recommends to change it back to a normal roundabout with next maintenance activities.