We all know the Netherlands is an indisputable cyclist paradise — and now they’re upping the ante. Rotterdam is making the most of the coronavirus crisis by widening bike lanes and sidewalks as part of their Rotterdam Mobility Approach.
Have you pulled up to a traffic light on your trusty fiets only to find there’s no space to keep your distance? We’ve all had the experience over the past few months, resulting in a lot of angry side-eyes to warn people not to breathe too heavily.
But Rotterdam is taking steps to reduce that problem and make sure cyclists can keep their distance. The broader roads will allow cyclists and pedestrians to comply with the one and a half meter rule. This will hopefully assist in reducing the spread of coronavirus.
What are the changes?
The additional space will be tested around the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam, says the municipality. The number of lanes for cars will be reduced to make way for bikes and pedestrians. If you’re keeping count, that’s one point for bikes — and zero for cars.
On the south side of the bridge, a right-hand lane will be closed to cars on the Erasmus Bridge, Posthumalaan and Wilhelminakade. This will give cyclists more space to wait at traffic lights. On the northern side, one lane on the Schiedamsedijk will disappear to make space.
Of course, cars aren’t left entirely in the dust — two lanes for cars will remain available to cross the bridge.
It follows an experiment that began earlier this year to reduce traffic through the Oude Westen by closing off at Kruisplein and Eendrachtsplein.
What other changes will come later?
Authorities will be testing and monitoring the traffic changes. As part of the Rotterdam Mobility Approach, an experiment around the Maas Tunnel will be conducted later to improve the air quality in the area. From next year, another experiment with a safer school environment will begin.
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