The research concerning the cyclists takes place in a village called Assendelft, which is part of the municipality Zaanstad. The case concerns a shopping area called the Saen where safety has become an issue due to several causes, one being a cyclist’s problem. The central plaza of the Saen, as illustrated below, can be accessed from four different directions: A, B, C and D. The most common route for cyclists, especially during the time people come and go to work, is from A to B or vice versa.
This is due to the fact that this is the fastest and shortest route for residents living on the side of point B to get to the train station, which is on the side of point A. Due to the fact that the passages are intended for pedestrians they are quite narrow and thus if both cyclists and pedestrians share this road accidents can occur.
Cyclists are not always passing through the shopping area but in many cases, are the people who come to do their shopping there from a little further away and thus use the bicycle. Due to the design of the plaza cyclists feel encouraged to cycle up to the parking spot as they are situated either in the middle of the narrow passages or in the middle of the plaza. This in combination with fairly hidden signs (as can be seen in the figures below, 2-5) that state that cycling is forbidden leads to the daily use as a shortcut by many residents. The infrastructure near on and around the plaza are key to this key issue as they give no alternative fast(er) routes. If for example a person were to be at point C and wanted to go to A, according to the cycling paths it would have to go from C to B around to the cycling path along the water to D and then to A. This or either cycle of the parking area for cars, which would cause the cyclist to cross the plaza instead.
Figure 1 Cyclist problem area
Figure 2-5 Signs as they are now in the Sean