Every day I leave the supermarket and turn into this street to continue my ride home. Up until last weekend I hadn’t really noticed these signs. The owner(s) of the restaurant on the corner apparently had enough and wanted to put a stop to people biking there, probably hindering their clientele and employees. The signs have a nice touch, movable plant ornaments with a polite message and signed with the peace symbol. Still, at first I was surprised, because I couldn’t imagine it to be such a problem, knowing that locals mostly (and shortly) ride there to actually park in front of their homes or the shops. Besides that, you won’t find many of the obligatory flocks of tourist bike salmons in this part of town. Quickly I realized the bike lane was put there only recently. So I did a Google Streetview check to see if that would supply me with some ‘before’ footage…bingo:[caption id="attachment_76" align="alignnone" width="600" caption="Google Streetview Amstelveenseweg/Veerstraat"][/caption]
I was right, there had to be more to it, I just forgot about the fact that the entire street leading from Surinamestraat up to this junction at Zeilstraat had been under construction, renewing the tarmac and tram tracks and reconfiguring the bike lane grid, moving away from the on-street situation.
As you can imagine, as well, I can see how people would cut corners at this junction during rush hour and move to the sidewalk to turn right, avoiding the hassle of dealing with tightly lined up cars at the traffic lights. Ergo, leave no real room for road users and these road users will quickly find an alternative. And at some point annoy others, like pedestrians and restaurant owners.
The newly installed bike lane is of standard (a-grade) quality. Completely segregated with a buffer zone on the left side, a billiard-like smooth surface, integrated bike junctions and exit paths and, of course, bicycle traffic lights at every car junction. Here are a few shots to get the picture:
Now I wonder how long it will take the restaurant owner to realize there’s no real use for them anymore. Well, the ornaments can stay, I guess :).