Safe Roads for Cyclists: An Investigation of Australian and Dutch Approaches
Submission Date: August 16, 2018 Journal
Suggested Citation: Docke, J., and Johnson, M. (2018). Safe Roads for Cyclists: An Investigation of Australian and Dutch Approaches. Journal of the Australasian College of Road Safety, 29(3), 39-49.
In countries with high cycle mode share, separated infrastructure and low speeds are fundamental to creating a safe cycling environment. The Dutch approach to cycling design is an exemplar of best practice accredited with contributing to the success of high cycle mode share in The Netherlands. The aim of this study was to assess the Australian approach to bicycle infrastructure against the Dutch principles, and investigate conditions on the road. This pilot study used a mixed method approach and was conducted in two parts: 1) a desk-based comparison of the cycling-related road design guidelines in The Netherlands and Australia and, 2) case studies of two primary access routes to a major commuter destination in suburban Melbourne (Monash University). Key differences between the Australian and Dutch approaches were identified from the respective design guidelines for shared-priority local streets, mid-block sections on arterial roads, and at intersections. The Dutch approach requires physical separation between bicycles and cars in most cases, whereas Australian guidelines focus on the details of design rather than an overarching principle of separation. On road, the case study routes were only partially compliant with Australian guidelines with considerable gaps along the route. Potential changes to the Australian guidelines in relation to the Dutch approach and further research are presented.