- Median markings on the F3 cycle highway Leuven - Brussel.
- Continuous median marking starts before a curve with limited visibility, serving as a reminder to keep to the right...
- Rare median markings (30 cm line per 3 m) and one-side edge marking to denote the buffer zone and improve the visibility...
- Wide green median marking tested as a wayfinding element. F261 cycle highway Tilburg - Waalwijk (NL).
- Smaller green median marking implemented as a wayfinding element. F261 cycle highway Tilburg - Waalwijk (NL).
Median markings on bidirectional cycle paths help the cyclists follow the route and clearly see the direction in which the cycle path is heading (see also infrastructural aspect of readability). It serves as delimitation between lanes allocated for both directions. If the visibility of the route ahead is limited, median marking can reduce the risk of head-on crash. They can also help the other road users to recognise that this is a cycle path.
The frequency and density of the median marking varies between countries. It can also be used – in a way similar to median markings on a carriageway – as a way of communicating simple messages to the users. Rare strips (for example 30 cm every 3 m) denote straight sections with good visibility and no obstacles. When extra attention is needed (because of incoming curve, obstacle or crossing), strips can become longer, more common or turn into a continuous line.
Median road marking can also warn the bicyclists against bollards that protect the cycle path from becoming a parking place or a shortcut for cars. In the Netherlands, wide blue median lines are also tested on and near bicycle crossings, as a way to improve the recognisability of the crossing.
- Edge markings on the Lier – Boom (F17) cycle highway in Belgium.
- Edge marking denotes a buffer zone between cycle path and carriageway. F3 entering Leuven.
- Edge marking improves recognisability of a curve near Nijmegen Goffert train station. Nijmegen – Wijchen cycle highway.
Edge markings help to recognise the verge of a rideable surface. In night-time, the colours are not as clearly recognisable and the asphalt or concrete pavement might be quite similar to the grass next to it. The problem is less severe if the surface has a brighter shade, but nevertheless clear white edge markings can prevent cyclists from running off the road (and losing control of the bicycle after entering the uneven surface). This is particularly useful in curves.
If the cycle path runs next to a wall or is delimited with a high kerb, edge markings can be used to indicate the space, where bicycles can ride safely without the risk of hitting the wall or kerb with the handlebar or pedal. Similarly, if the cycle path runs directly adjacent to the carriageway, the markings can create a buffer zone, which cyclist should avoid in order to not get hit, for example by a car mirror.
The importance of thin white lines
- Median and edge markings on both sides on the Antwerp – Brussels (F1) cycle highway. Note the clearance between edge...
- New type of tactile edge markings (with “rumble strips”) tested in Waalwijk on the F261 cycle highway in Noord-Brabant.
Road markings on cycle highways are particularly important:
- on bidirectional cycling paths.
- in late autumn, when days are short, and it might be dark during commuting hours: edge markings can enhance visibility of road alignment even more than adding lighting.
- for older people, who often do not have as good peripheral vision or contrast sensitivity.
- in significant cycle traffic: riding behind someone one might not be able to have a clear picture of the situation ahead.
What do cyclists need to see to avoid single-bicycle crashes?
Paul Schepers, Berry den Brinker. Published in Ergonomics 2011.
Evaluatie pilot “Zichtbaarheid fietspaden N631”
The results of evaluation of 14 different types of edge markings from a pilot study (2015-2016) by on the cycle path N631 between Rijen and Oosterhout in the province of Noord Brabant (Netherlands).
Evaluatie nieuwe wegmarkering op snelfietsroutes: Het effect op beleving en gedrag van weggebruikers