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It is no secret that the Dutch are cyclists. People in the Netherlands, from all ages, are able to move around freely and safely thanks to the many approaches to bike safety. One of the many cycle-friendly infrastructure improvements the Dutch have come up with is the famous “Dutch junction.”
The Dutch junction is an intersection where the cyclists have a sort of island that separates them from the cars. Cars are not allowed to go into these islands making them aware of the cyclists around them regardless of the direction the cyclist will take. The following video explains it much better.
Fortunately, the many years of experience in cycling is quickly spreading around the globe. The first American university to incorporate the “Dutch junction” is my very own, Texas A&M University. While you would expect that not many people in Texas cycle (because with the 40+ temperatures and the big trucks who would!), one of Texas oldest universities has been focusing on become a bike-friendly campus for several years.
As of October 1st, Texas A&M University implemented the Dutch junction at one of their busiest non-signalized campus crossing. The cycle islands have special bright green solar luminescent pavement markings that store solar energy during the day and use that energy to illuminate them at night. You can read more about it in this article.
Although cycling in the Netherlands is safe, you still have to be cautious. The following video shows just how hectic cycling traffic in Amsterdam can be!
de fiets- the bike
fietsen- to cycle
de fietser- the cyclist
het kruispunt- junction
links af slaan- turn left
rechts af slaan- turn right
het fietspad- the bike lane
richting aangeven- to signal
het stoplicht– the traffic light
oversteken- to cross (the road)