The invisible cycling path should address objections to the construction of “fast” cycling paths in green areas. It is one of the concepts presented in the new Dutch-English book entitled Fietsinfrastructuur (Cycling Infrastructure) by Stefan Bendiks and Aglaée Degros.
The authors are partners of the Artgineering bureau which devotes itself to the relationship between infrastructure, landscape, and urban development. According to the authors, the potential that cycling has for quality of the environment and urban liveability is enormous but thus far unexploited. With this book, the authors wish to show that cycling infrastructures and especially cycling highways entail more than just a wide cycling path. Beside the traffic engineering aspects, there should also be – according to Bendiks and Degros – criteria that address the relationship between the infrastructure and its environment from a spatial as well as a socio-economic perspective.
These points are illustrated in the book using examples from within the Netherlands as well as abroad. For example, the well-discussed RijnWaalpad, a cycling route in eastern Holland was developed with the user experience in mind. Cycling routes in London, Copenhagen, and Wuppertal are also examined. Cycling policy planners in those cities were interviewed and asked about the philosophy behind their particular cycling infrastructure.
The book also describes a number of cycling innovations, some of which have been realized, others serving as a prelude to the future. In addition to the Fietsappel and Het Stadsbalkon (two unique bike-parking facilities) one also encounters examples that are inspirational in nature. Besides the invisible cycling path, one has for example the Biomall. This is a shopping facility adjoining the cycling highway for cyclists (with or without cargo bike) comparable to the shopping malls made for motorists in America. From Copenhagen one has the obligatory bike carrier for taxis, which, according to the authors, is one way to easily integrate the two modes of travel, even if only because of a sudden downpour, or because you drank too much. The price to bring the bike along in a Danish cab is Eur 1.35 on top of the regular cab fare.
The book can be purchased from Nai booksellers. (www.naibooksellers.nl) for €34,50.