Zwolle’s bicycle roundabout

In the summer of 2013, the municipality of Zwolle constructed a unique bicycle roundabout at the Philosofenallee-Vondelkade bicycle crossing. Prior to its construction, cyclists had to give way to (motorised) traffic on the Wipstrikkerallee, a busy access road. As a result, cyclists were inconvenienced by long waits and impeded in their travel. Giving cyclists priority and introducing traffic lights did not fully address or solve this issue.

The main bicycle route linking Berkum and Wipstrik to Zwolle runs along the Vondelkade and the Philosofenallee. At the Wipstrikkeralllee-Vechtstraat, it intersects with the city’s inner core. The municipality collaborated with both local interest groups (neighborhood associations, schools, the police, VVN, and the Fietsersbond) and experts to work on a new intersection design to improve the situation for cyclists, which eventually resulted in the bicycle roundabout.


Safe and efficient crossing facility for cyclists

While motorised traffic only has partial, or limited, access to the roundabout: cars can either go straight or turn right, but not swing around it. Cyclists, on the other hand, may take any direction they like. Consequently, the flow of bicycle traffic has been greatly improved. Motorists who use the inner ring road are aware of the fact that cyclists have priority on roundabouts, and this principle also applies to this smaller bicycle roundabout, which offers a safe and efficient crossing to cyclists.

No significant negative impact on motorised traffic

A traffic engineering study of the bicycle roundabout has demonstrated that:

  • The bicycle roundabout has no significant adverse effect on traffic flow and/or route choice;
  • The bicycle roundabout helps cyclists cross the Vechtstraat more quickly and efficiently;
  • The bicycle roundabout has not significantly deteriorated the flow of motorised traffic on the Vechtstraat/Wipstrikkerallee;
  • The bicycle roundabout does not pose any challenges to road safety and may have decreased the overall number of traffic conflict situations.

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