A survey by RTV Noord and the University of Groningen (RUG) has found that the most unsafe bicycle crossings in Groningen are the intersection of the Aweg and Westersingel and the crossing near the Helperzoomtunnel.
The survey, which involved nearly 3,000 people, asked respondents to rate the safety of 1,100 intersections in the city and the surrounding area. The two intersections mentioned above received the lowest ratings.
The respondents who rated these intersections as dangerous cited a number of factors, including heavy traffic, poor visibility, insufficient space for cyclists, and aggressive drivers.
A war of signals
According to Gerd Weitkamp, a RUG professor of cultural geography, the confusion is mainly due to a jumble of signals that cyclists have to process. “All the different pavements, lines, and markings make it difficult to understand the traffic rules,” he says.
Weitkamp says it is a challenge to see who a cyclist has to yield to based on all those signals in a short period of time. The intersection is also very busy, which makes it even more difficult for cyclists, he believes.
Other dangerous crossings
Other intersections that were rated as dangerous include the intersection west of the Helperzoomtunnel in the south of the city and the intersection of the Bornholmstraat and the Lübeckweg.
With 27 votes, the Oldambtplein in Winschoten is the most frequently mentioned dangerous point outside of Groningen. Most people find that the bicycle paths there are not well-marked on the road surface, making it unclear where the cyclist should go.
City to take action
Groningen authorities have said that they are committed to making the city a safe place for cyclists. The city is currently reviewing the survey results and will develop a plan to address the concerns of cyclists.
In the meantime, cyclists are advised to be extra careful when crossing these intersections. They should make eye contact with drivers and be prepared to stop if necessary.