This is a “Mobility Explained” post with a bit of a difference.
If you speak Dutch / Flemish you will already have seen a separate thread with some excellent “Mobility for Dummies” video content to explain some key concepts in a friendly, approachable and dynamic format which have been created by our friends at Mobiel 21.
I thought I would take the opportunity to translate the transcript of these videos into English for reference in case you are interested, but like me, don’t speak the language.
Here is the first video, with the English transcription below (more to follow):
Hey! What are you cyclists doing here in the middle of the road?
Come on guys, get out of the way, I want to get past!
Why should cyclists have their own street?
Ah! A bicycle street (fietsstraat), that’s exactly what we should be talking about, right?
Hello! I’m Glenn from Mobiel 21 and I’m going to explain exactly what a fietsstraat is in 2 minutes and 21 seconds.
WHAT IS A FIETSSTRAAT (BICYCLE STREET)?
Fietsstraat are streets where cyclists rule!
On these streets cyclists are allowed to use the entire width of the road in their direction of travel.
You can drive your car in the fietsstraat at a maximum speed of 30 km/h. Overtaking cyclists isn’t allowed
WHAT’S THE GOAL OF A FIETSSTRAAT?
A fietsstraat is safer for bicycles because they are more visible and get more space on the road.
A fietsstraat actually says to cyclists: “you are not in the way, you are welcome on the road”
That’s not always the case (anywhere else).
Fietsstraat also help to convince people to cycle more often.
We saw that positive effect on the first fietsstraat in Ghent
Where the number of daily cyclists doubled in less than a year.
A fietsstraat can also help to make certain destinations car-free or to reduce car traffic near schools or sports fields, for example.
HOW DO I RECOGNISE A FIETSSTRAAT?
The start and end of a fietsstraat is marked with blue signs and a clear bicycle logo on the road surface.
Some municipalities use red asphalt for the fietsstraat.
Even if there is a bike path here, cyclists may of course just cycle on the road.
DO SKATE STREETS OR ROLLER SKATE STREETS EXIST?
I know about play streets and pedestrian shopping streets, but how about a skate street? No!?
… But it is a really good idea for a street on a human scale.
I say: call the mayor and if you succeed I’ll make a video about it.
AREN’T ALL STREETS FIETSSTRAATEN?
There are already large cycling zones in several cities, such as Mechelen and Leuven.
Where, throughout the city centre, all streets are fietsstraat.
There you go, and now I’m going to look for someone who wants to make a roller skating street.