Developing the new Cycling Infrastructure Design Guide

In June 2016, CROW published its new cycling safety design guide developed by DTV Consultants. The guide, based on new insights gained from national and international studies, features and analyses a variety of new topics including electrical bicycles, faster cycling routes, roundabouts, and the health aspects of cycling.

A guide for designers, policymakers, and administrators

Not only does CROW’s guide encompass developing guidelines, but it also provides advice, arguments, and evidence-based knowledge that can aid traffic engineers in designing bicycle-friendly solutions and innovations. Although the contents of the guide mainly focus on the design of cycling provisions, it also covers how to manage and maintain these provisions. Due to its inclusion of CROW’s cycling policy handbook, the guide also offers several practical tools for developing and implementing successful cycling policies. As such, this book offers a plethora of insights into policy, design, management, and maintenance of future-proof cycling infrastructure.

Fostering innovation through expert knowledge

To create the guide, DTV Consultants decided to draw on the collective experience of an expert group consisting of individuals from several relevant backgrounds. During the initial meeting, all experts were asked which issues and topics they were most interested in. This approach resulted in an engaging, fun, and productive environment where ideas could thrive. Hillie Talens, project manager at CROW, has expressed her satisfaction with the project: “The foundations for successful teamwork were laid from the very start. DTV Consultants clearly put a great deal of thought into coming up with ways to inspire and enthuse our experts as well as making the most of their strengths. This positive atmosphere resulted in a truly enjoyable and productive experience for everyone involved.”

Paul Schepers, an expert in the field of traffic safety currently employed by Rijkswaterstaat, concurs: “DTV Consultants has managed to incorporate new insights into traffic safety in this design guide. The attention paid to single-bicycle accidents, for example, is of particular interest: these types of accidents have been increasing in frequency over the past couple of years and have been shown to cause approximately half of all serious traffic injuries. It is refreshing to see a guide tackle these issues by providing possible solutions, e.g. using road surface marking so cyclists can distinguish between the roadway and roadside. That’s a first.”

The power of peer feedback and sustained teamwork

DTV Consultants analysed and assessed all texts featured in CROW’s design guide on the basis of their relevance, actuality, and readability. Particular attention was paid to logical sequencing, and each text and each chapter were carefully examined and subjected to heavy peer review by a rotating team of experts. Hillie Taaiens describes this process as an iterative one: “because our experts worked closely together and carefully examined each other’s notes and suggestions, we achieved much better results than we would have had there only been a single round of peer review upon the guide’s completion.”

Available from CROW

The new cycling traffic design guide (CROW publication 351) first appeared in June 2016 and can be ordered via the CROW web site. The guide has also been incorporated into the online Cycling Infrastructure module.

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Advice and information
Paul van den Bosch

Paul van den Bosch

Trainer / Consultant Cycling Infrastructure