In two different places, one inside and another outside the built-up area, cyclists riding at speeds of more than 30 kilometres per hour were given the possibility to use the main carriageway. Special road signs were put up and the experiment lasted for one week.
Counts were taken and speeds were measured before and during the pilot.
Inside the built-up area, the speedy riders regularly opted to use the carriageway. The percentage of bike lane users travelling at more than 30 kilometres per hour fell from 4 to 1. The percentage of cyclists using the carriageway increased from 1 to 6. The average speed on the bike lane did not change significantly: from 18.68 to 18.54 kilometres per hour.
Outside the built-up area, fast riders stayed on the bike track. The Cyclists’ Union stresses the differences between the two locations. ‘In Franeker, the bicycle track is paved and there is more traffic, which increases the attraction of the tarmac surface of the roadway. In Ried, the bicycle track is made of concrete, it is fairly wide and there is not much traffic. Besides, cars in the Ried area often exceed the local speed limit of 60 kilometres per hour’.
The increase in bicycle traffic, as well as its increasing speed (because of racers and (high-speed) e-bikes) is causing increasing speed differences in the bicycle lane. The Cyclists’ Union, working with Franekeradeel, undertook this short pilot project to explore the potential benefits of separating faster and slower riders.