Sunday, January 29, 2012

Market Day bicycles

At the Leiden Saturday market, I spotted a few standouts in bicycle decoration and bicycle shenanigans.

The first bicycle to catch my eye, (on the way, past hundreds of boring old omafiets paint jobs) was a green grinch themed frame... It's soft, fluffy and green.
Why would someone do this you ask?
Well, why not?

Later, a young woman (Marian, I did ask) walked a zebra motif omafiets past me. I followed behind and awkwardly caught her attention. She was very kind and posed for me with her bicycle. It's different than the other zebra omafiets so now there are two in town. How many zebras in a harem?

On my way back home, I managed to make a video of a bike rack passenger pulling some luggage behind the bicycle. Always a favorite.

There's also some general traffic madness that happens on the Breestraat every Saturday when they close it to private cars.

Below, scofflaws! Both cyclists and pedestrians alike take the traffic signals as "suggestions" and I venture to think this is okay. It all works out, people travelling with the same relative mass and speed are not such a danger to each other... and the buses are driven by professional with immense amounts of experience and patience.


  1. Re. scofflaws: while it's true that in these situations ignoring the traffic signals is relatively harmless, there's another danger. As shown in a recent CDA party paper, politicians see this as evidence that "shared space" works. I have my doubts.

  2. For pedestrians the traffic signals really are "suggestions". There is no red light.
    When pedestrians havne green it means the buses and bikes have red light and must stop. pedestrians can cross safely.
    When the busses have the green light the pedestrians have a warning light.
    They may cross if it is possible.

    At least that is what I do.

  3. Yes, that's right- it's not a green for pedestrians, only a yellow warning light... but I think that prioritizes the traffic on the street? Some bicycles do not stop for the red but it all appears to work out without problems. It's funny how empty the street is on Sunday. No traffic at all.
    Thanks for the link Frits!

  4. Phew, I was worried for a moment that NL law might say that pedestrians _have_ to obey crossing lights. Glad to hear they are advisory like UK.

  5. i don't think the yellow warning light prioritizes the traffic on the street. Pedestrians that cross a street generally have to give way to other traffic. There are exceptions like a green traffic light for pedestrians, which means the other traffic has red.

    The normal situation in the Netherlands is that there are green and red lights for pedestrians. This situation in the Breestraat is exceptional, I'm not aware of another place in Leiden with simular traffic lights.

    @Neil. I have to disappoint you, pedestrians in the Netherlands are ecpected to obey the crossing lights. But of course that doesn't mean that they do.