The Roads Are Too Safe - Levisan.me
Safe roads make drivers lazy.
Published: 12 July 2015
Last Updated: 07 October 2020
Growing up, my dad (a born-and-raised Dutchman) said that the main cause of car accidents was the fact that people get distracted, and that the roads are too boring. To build on that, one of my cousins from the Netherlands came to Alberta last year, and drove a few thousand kilometres while here. At the end of his trip, he said, “The roads here are so straight and uninteresting, I nearly had to check my phone to keep things interesting!”
Only 50% of the cycling routes in the Netherlands are separated from vehicular traffic. According to the C.R.O.W. Manual, the Dutch only use separated or protected cycling lanes when the traffic volumes and speeds are sufficiently high enough to pose a threat to the lives of people cycling. Alternatively, the Dutch use painted bike lanes, shared streets and woonerfs (a residential version of the shared street). In all cases, the Dutch ensure that the physical design of the street only tolerates a safe vehicle speed – they do not rely on suggestive tools such as posted speed limits.
Looking back to my times spent in Europe, I agree! Our roads here are so straight and boring. In Holland, they purposefully add features in the road, like speed humps, roundabouts, and road-narrowing, to keep you on your toes. And it feels like you drive faster, because of the proximity to the surrounding things!
Addendum (Oct 2020)
My brother sent me this: