Amsterdam’s brilliant cycle lane congestion fix

Amsterdam came up with a simple yet elegant solution for congestion of cycle lanes. In this video, you can see how having straight cycle lanes causes ‘bunching’ at the traffic lights, so to overcome this they added a banana-shaped kerb that allows more people to get closer to the junction while the lights are red. Once the lights change, the people instinctively filter into a normal lane width.

It’s interesting to note that this can be used on the opposite side of the road and oncoming bicycles will also filter into a nice, orderly queue too with the appropriate lane markings.

Apparently it’s to do with the normal human behaviour pattern of walking in a line. It seems to work well so let’s try to adopt this method where increased bicycle traffic is seen around junctions.

Cycle lane traffic circulation issues

Having cycled in Holland quite a lot, I am always surprised at the short timing of the lights. If you are at the back of the larger queues you simply can’t get to the light before it goes red again, so this will doubtless help solve some frustration from that issue. Once again, Holland, like its Scandinavian neighbours with their Copenhagen style bicycle lanes, are pushing the boundaries of 2-wheeled pedal transport infrastructure.

Does the vehicle traffic have to suffer?

Apart from the odd road marking alteration and traffic light relocation, not much else needs to be changed. The biggest selling point is that motor traffic space is not changed at all using this method. Something for Governments to think long and hard about, because minor changes like this can lead to a better overall cycling infrastructure without negative effects for drivers.