When bike paths meet a railway level crossing

Recently I asked myself the question – how does a bike path cross a railway? When a road does the same thing, a level crossing has to be built – but I had to look to the Netherlands – world leader in cycling infrastructure – to see what a level crossing for bikes looks like.

Railway level crossing in the Dutch town of Maastricht (photo by Mark Ahsmann, via Wikimedia Commons)
Photo by Mark Ahsmann, via Wikimedia Commons

Our first example is at Wezep, a town in the Dutch province of Gelderland. Here the two lane road is flanked by a bidirectional off-road bike path on both sides, with a pair of ‘half’ boom barriers blocking motorists driving on the right hand side of the road, with an additional four sets of flashing lights and boom barriers in place to warn cyclists.

And here is a second example, again at Wezep. Resembling a scaled down road level crossing, this facility is for the exclusive use of pedestrians and cyclists, with bollards preventing large vehicles from proceeding across the tracks.

So now you know!

Some more examples

Some more photo of bike lanes at Dutch level crossings:

Meanwhile in Australia

At home in Melbourne, Australia level crossings are built for cars and pedestrians, but not cyclists.

Unprotected level crossings force users to zig zag their way through a series of fences, forcing them to look for trains.

Willis Street pedestrian crossing between Ginifer and St Albans stations

A handful of crossings have scaled down boom barriers.

Pedestrian boom barriers at the entrance to Ringwood East station

While the remainder have automatic gates that swing shut.

Pedestrian crossing still in place at Willis Street, but with automatic gates added

In all cases cyclists are forced to dismount – a necessity given how narrow the crossings are.

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