Kenniscentrum voor fietsbeleid

Sustainably safety

Duurzaam Veilig  (Sustainably safety) is a primarily infrastructural concept. Knowledge of safety aspects of infrastructural design is highly developed in the Netherlands. At the same time it is clear that we do not, by any stretch of the imagination, have a thorough knowledge of everything - in particular where bicycle facilities are concerned. This is apparent in the short but exhaustive survey by SWOV: Factsheet bicycle provisions. In a more general paper by on infrastructure SWOV the limited scientific knowledge is a major conclusion: Limited knowledge of safety effects of infrastructural facilities. Nevertheless in design manuals assumptions are made on many  infrastructural aspects that are as well-founded as possible. For the latest important bicycle insights, as included in the general design manual for roads within urban areas: Bicycle traffic in the new ASVV 2004. A new edition of the design manual for bicycle traffic by CROW has been published since: New Ontwerpwijzer voor fietsvriendelijke infrastructuur.

A rather recent innovation has been the classification of roads in accordance with the principles of ‘Duurzaam Veilig’ or sustainably safety. All Dutch towns have classified their road network around the turn of the century. According to ‘Duurzaam Veilig’, a number of roads within the centre are designated as ‘traffic arteries’. Here there is a maximum speed limit of 50 km/h. In principle these traffic arteries must always have specific bicycle facilities. Focussing on the (safe) width of bicycle lanes on traffic arteries: Width and other aspects of bicycle lanes. A major item for discussion in the Netherlands is whether or not bicycles are to have priority on roundabouts: Bicycle crossings on roundabouts. Other roads are classified as residential, with a maximum speed of 30 km/h. Safety gains in ‘plainly’ re-designed 30km-areas proved to be considerable in an evaluation: 30km/h areas: domain of pedestrians and cyclists? In these 30km-areas no separate bicycle facilities are needed as a matter of principle.

Unfortunately many roads fall betwixt and between: too busy for residential zoning, certainly lots of crossing movements and no room for separate bicycle paths. Solutions for these so-called grey roads are still being sought: 'Grey roads' and how to handle these.

Report 2001 An aid for child-friendly design and layout of residential and traffic areas.
2010 SWOV recommendations about marking out driving lanes on rural access roads
Otto van Boggelen en Hans Baggerman , Verkeerskunde
1998 Direct cycling routes through residential areas require a meticulous approach (even though the priority issue has been taken care of).
Brochure 2002 Examples of layout of bike paths and bike lanes in residential areas in Nordrhein-Westfalen.
Dr. ir. E.M. Berends & drs. H.L. Stipdonk , SWOV
2009 During the past ten years many residential roads in the Netherlands have been converted from 50 km/h roads into 30 km/h roads. The guidelines for 30 km/h access roads describe the road design and the traffic rules for roads where car traffic is allowed, but where children should also be able to play safely. This road design must prevent fatal injury when a vulnerable road user, a pedestrian or a cyclist, happens to be involved in a crash with a motor vehicle. Since 1998, a road length of more than 30.000 km has been converted into 30 km/h access roads. Many of these roads can be found in Zones 30, connected areas in which all roads meet the guidelines. Not always have the financial means been available for an optimally safe road layout. The law allows a sober layout for these Zones 30. The sober layout is limited to gate constructions at the zone entrances and addressing unsafe situations (intersections mostly). The total number of casualties on 30 km/h access roads is small in comparison with the number of casualties on other road types. Of the motor vehicle crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists only 10% (fatalities) to 15% (in-patients) occurred on a 30 km/h access road. However, the number of casualties has been increasing with the rapid growth of the 30 km/h access road length. Most of the casualties are among vulnerable road users in crashes with fast traffic. This increase has prompted two questions: 1. Is the volume of the number of casualties in 30 km/h access roads in agreement with what could be expected on the basis of the underlying theory about a safe layout of residential roads? In other words, are 30 km/h access roads safe enough? 2. Is the increase of the number of casualties in accordance with the increase of the 30 km/h access road length, or is there an extra increase, for example as a consequence of the sometimes non-optimal layout? This study analyses the crashes on 30 km/h access roads. It focuses on casualties among pedestrians and cyclists in collisions with motor vehicles (motorcycle, car, delivery van, lorry, or bus). Moped riders have not been included, partly because the registration of crashes involving moped riders on 30 km/h access roads is not reliable. The study is limited to crashes with serious consequences, i.e. in-patients or fatal injuries.