Smart Cycling, Smart Intersections

To get closer to international and especially Dutch inspiration, APPM GmbH and Goudappel Coffeng are organising a webinar during this year's fully digital #Veloweek Berlin/Hamburg/Frankfurt on 18 June at 14:00 hrs. Under the title Smart Cycling, Smart Intersections, Jens Blume (Expert Bicycle Traffic at APPM GmbH) and Rico Andriesse (Bicycle infrastructure expert at Goudappel Coffeng) will talk about how Dutch inspiration can play a greater role in building safer intersections in German cities, using German examples. High and Low-Tech Smart solutions will be discussed.

First: Let's be happy! There's a little revolution going on, also in Germany. Many, and especially large, cities are finally realizing, also due to the corona pandemic, that the mobility transition doesn´t come without more space for more bikes. The pop-up-bike-lanes are popping up everywhere. In Germany, Berlin is in the lead, but other cities like Stuttgart, Dortmund and Munich are reluctantly following. This positive trend should not be underestimated, it will mainly make cyclists feel safer, and for motorists it makes it clear that urban infrastructure no longer revolves around them. And pedestrians too will demand more space. In the next few years hundreds of millions of Euros will be released and hopefully well spent.

However, to the really great danger, the countless hopelessly outdated intersections, which are literally life-threatening, unfortunately little or nothing is happening yet. Not even in the city with a relatively new progressive mobility law: Berlin. Let alone in Hamburg, Frankfurt Cologne etc. Especially with a growing number of cyclists and pedestrians, this standstill is a major problem in Germany. It is particularly at intersections that the most serious accidents occur and where "King Car", and not to mention the trucks conflict more and more with slower traffic.

Something has to be done about this. And there is so much inspiration to be drawn from abroad, the Netherlands and Denmark at the forefront. But for German Cities it often stops at study trips, maybe a workshop, and after that everyone all too easily goes on to the order of the day: legal and political hair-splitting and the thirst for scientific substantiation.

And that is literally a mortal sin. Science is certainly important, but trying out better alternatives is even more important. This has created standards in the Netherlands for fine-tuning, for example with waiting times and waiting space for traffic lights. Sensoring traffic (-flow) can help. And also the run-up to an intersection, which often starts hundreds of meters earlier and can increase safety. Or the removal of traffic lights altogether (often false safety), resulting in better traffic flow. Many different ingredients that can be part of the conversation during the webinar of just one hour.

The webinar will focus on the intersections. The most difficult but also the most important piece of the puzzle for road safety in the urban environment. This is an invitation to join our talk at the #Veloweek, have the conversation and then of course get to work! And with a touch of Dutch inspiration!

And hopefully it can also function as an appeal to German politicians and policy makers: don't wait for the perfect model. Don't be distracted by lobbies. Residents of the cities are already much further ahead. In case of accidents and black spots, adapt the situation as soon as possible and if necessary, again and again. And looking at the examples elsewhere (and adapting the German regulations if necessary) that is much more valuable and saves lives. That's how the Netherlands and Denmark became examples already decades ago.

Here you can find the link to register for participation.

Also APPM GmbH will take part in a session on Car Free Neighbourhoods 21.06.20 16:00 hrs.

Maja van der Voet will represent APPM in this session:

For the entire month of June, the Dutch Cycling Embassy and CROW are partnering to offer the 'Design Manual for Bicycle Traffic' for HALF PRICE. Purchase your copy online today. 

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