Are two-way bicycle tracks as safe as one-way bicycle tracks?


Two-way bicycle tracks are less safe than one-way bicycle tracks and, therefore, one-way bicycle tracks have been preferred in design recommendations and guidelines for some time now [4] [41] [42]. The heading of this section refers to bicycle tracks alongside carriageways and not to solitary bicycle tracks. In the 70s, two-way bicycle tracks in the urban area were uncommon, and in the rural area the length of one-way bicycle tracks also exceeded that of two-way tracks [42] [43]. In 2014, an inventory showed that, by then, 62% of the length in the urban area and 79% of the length in the rural area was taken up by two-way bicycle tracks [44]. Methorst et al. [45] published a review article in which the problems involved in two-way bicycle tracks were summarised. On road sections, two-way bicycle tracks increase the risk of head-on crashes between cyclists, and between cyclists and (light) moped riders [14]. Drivers who turn right to a distributor road from an access road on priority intersections often only look to the left, the direction vehicles normally come from. Cyclists on two-way bicycle tracks that, from the driver’s point of view, come from the right are therefore overlooked. This problem concerning expectations and glance behaviour was first observed in Sweden [46] and has since also been observed in the Netherlands [47]. On average, the risk that a cyclist on a priority road is hit by a motor vehicle at a priority intersection is 75% higher for two-way bicycle tracks than for one-way bicycle tracks [15]. Research into blind-spot crashes has uncovered an additional problem in situations where a truck crosses a two-way bicycle track before entering a priority intersection or roundabout. Seen from the access road or from one of the arms of the roundabout, cyclists to the right of a truck may be in the driver’s blind spot which may result in blind-spot crashes [48].

Figure 12. Two-way bicycle track with a cyclist coming from the right side from the perspective of the side road of the main road where a cyclist crosses a side street and may be overlooked by drivers coming from the side street (Photograph: Paul Schepers).

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Infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists

A safe infrastructure is of vital importance to pedestrians and cyclists. In 2010-2019, 40% of the number of road deaths were pedestrians… Meer

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