Sunday, July 3, 2011

Deventer Day Two


Today I went for a run from Diepenveen, where I am staying with the Boschs, back towards Deventer. I love roundabouts! I have heard concern about how to handle bikes and pedestrians in roundabout, but as far as I can tell it is unfounded. In the roundabouts here there is an inner lane for cars, then a colored bicycle lane or cycle track, and then the sidewalk. Here they use a line of triangles on the pavement to indicate that the road user must yield. Everything works if everyone watches out for each other, yields when they are supposed to, and tries not to run over anybody. They also have great wayfinding signage. The streets are far simpler here than they are in Amsterdam, nevertheless, it was because of the signage that I was able to find my way home without a map on my second day in town. Do the roundabouts in Bend have wayfinding signage? If not, they should.

After my run I went back to the city center to see more of the festival. My favorite was probably Generik Vapeur. They were like a French blue man group with two women and a lot of fireworks. A van carried the blue man band through the city center. The audience was lining the street at each stop in anticipation of the band's arrival, hanging out of windows and on patios, or walking along with the troupe from stop to stop as I was. This is a great way to bring art to people who are not willing to sit quietly in a seat and create a stage out of the built environment.

I also enjoyed the stiltwalkers on tall bikes and French bicycle/unicycle act on a trampoline with a track around the outside. They were like cats! They bounced and flipped and still they landed on their feet.

I am only slightly embarrased to say that I literally ran from a stiltwalking dragon. They were really scary! When the festivities ended, I found my way out of the center, again thanks to excellent wayfinding signage.

I noticed a traffic jam as I headed out of the area. The inner part of the city center is car-free, but there are several parking areas around the outside. I am pointing this out to show that the Netherlands is not a fairytale place where nobody drives. Next to the long line of cars, was a bicycle traffic jam, which seemed to be taking up less space. The cyclists also seemed to be getting through the light more quickly. There is an all-way green phase at that intersection for cyclists and pedestrians. I for one, was glad to be walking towards the bicycle that the Boschs lent me, which was parked near the first performance I had watched. This is bicycle number eleven that I have ridden on or in during my trip.

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