Start with Network Planning—Then Infrastructure Design: Learning from the Dutch Example

The following post, originally published on the EUCG blog, includes Stephan Renner's take-aways from a free monthly webinar—presented by Teije Gorris of DTV Capacity Building—on how to develop Dutch cycling infrastructure. For the month of June, the Dutch Cycling Embassy and CROW are partnering to offer the 'Design Manual for Bicycle Traffic' for half price.

These five principles are developed for the CROW 'Design Manual for Bicycle Traffic', developed by the Dutch CROW Platform:

1.Cohesion: You can cycle from anywhere to everywhere. Focus on utility cycling (not leasure cycling).

a.Start with network planning. A cohesive network consists of connected branches. Grid size of 300-500 meters (all routes have an alternative within 300-500 meters).

b.Connecting with other networks (e.g. public transport) to allow for intermodality.

c.Start with a link, but plan for a network (hierarchy of levels in the network). Put priority of resources on cycling in the principle network.

2.Directness: Minimising detours.

a.Short and fastest routes for cycling, e.g. priority in traffic lights

b.Detour factor: Distance from A to B (air line) divided by Distance on the street. Detour factor in principle bicycle networks should be <1,2

3.Safety: minimal pollution, minimal stress level, health benefits of cycling.

a.Segregating vehicle types (fast, heavy traffic vs. slower light traffic)

b.Avoiding conflicts with intersecting traffic, reducting points of conflict

4.Comfort: should not be underestimated: avoid traffic nuisance, good road surface, optimizing wayfinding, directness. Avoid arguments for not using the bicycle.

5.Attractiveness: is a personal principle, but: well-maintained public space, activities along the route and everything but heavy traffic and pollution. Avoid planning the routes against heavy congested areas or industrial facilities.

Start with network planning—then infrastructure design. Smaller routes can have the benefits of not having the challenge of heavy streets.

Dutch Cycling Embassy published infographics on health benefits, cost-benefit, etc. This helps in the conversation with city planners. Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning is very relevant for this (ELTIS), integrated planning and involving stakeholders is important.

What is still needed is capacity building, because there are a lot of projects on street design, but they need to be done well. Therefore, in many countries stakeholders and planners still need to learn state of the art cycling infrastructure.

Create additional incentives, e.g. reward schemes for cycling, tax reductions for bicycles, gamification and cycling competitions, and ongoing investment in better bicycle infrastructure, also between cities, to cater for higher rate of e-bikes.

The hand-out of May 2020's edition is available here. To receive the latest version of the handout, register for the next edition of the webinar, which is organised every last Thursday of the month. More info here.

For the month of June, the Dutch Cycling Embassy and CROW are partnering to offer the 'Design Manual for Bicycle Traffic' for half price. 

5 Design Principles for Successful Bicycle Infrast...
Lost in Translation: Applying the CROW Manual in t...


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Wednesday, 01 February 2023
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to

Want to know more? We are happy to help.

Stay updated, follow us on social media and subscribe to our newsletter

Nicolaas Beetsstraat 2A
3511 HE Utrecht, The Netherlands

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PHONE: +31 (0) 15 202 6116

Due to Covid-19 (Corona-virus) the DCE-team is working from home, therefore this phone might not be answered.
Please leave a message with your phone number through our contact form on the left side of this page, and we’ll call you back as soon as possible!