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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Spectacular New Floating Cycle Roundabout - Hovenring in NL


The bright white 70 meters (230Ft) tall bridge pylon can be seen from far away. Attached to the top are 24 cables that suspend a large bicycle roundabout, 72 meters (236Ft) in diameter, that seems to float over a large new junction for motorized traffic. This roundabout can be found in Eindhoven and it is called Hovenring. The exceptional piece of bicycle infrastructure was built to stand out. It is to be the iconic new landmark that signals ‘you are entering Eindhoven’. At night the slender bike ring is lit from below to further enhance that floating effect.
Hovenring Floating Bicycle Roundabout
A new landmark for Eindhoven/Veldhoven and Meerhoven: the Hovenring floating bicycle roundabout.
Thus far this was an extremely large rural roundabout (officially a ‘traffic circle’ because of the right of way arrangements) with separated cycle paths all around it. Google shows us the old situation. Google is getting outdated very quickly, because of all the new infra that is being built in the Netherlands, but as a historic reference it is perfect. Now why did this have to change? It had cycle paths and there were traffic lights to control the flow of traffic. But to the Dutch that is not safe enough anymore. Yes, there was separation, but at the places of crossing motorized traffic and cyclists were only separated in time and not in place. When people make mistakes (going through a red light for instance) this could still lead to dangerous situations. The area is full of new housing with a lot of children and especially for those kids cycling to school, the new situation is far better. Now, both types of traffic are completely separated in time and also in place, so cyclists can pass this large junction safely and without stopping.

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