SIX BEAUTIFUL BRIDGES – for bikes

Melkweg ('Milky Way') Bike and pedestrian bridge, Purmerend. Architects: Next. Photo: Velo City, published Prestel 2014.

Melkweg (‘Milky Way’) Bike and pedestrian bridge, Purmerend. Architects: Next. Photo: Velo City, published Prestel 2014.

I’ve been on a quest to find the best-looking examples of Dutch bike bridges.

My inspiration has been Gavin Blyth’s book Velo City, with its collection of great photos of impressive cycling infrastructure around the world, including the photo above of the bridge over the North Holland Canal. It was a thoughtful present from the Dutch children’s book SCBWI group – thanks!

Mr Blyth’s book concentrates on the newest and hippest. I like some of the old cycle path bridges too. I’ve been trying to do them justice with the camera.

The bridge at the charmingly named Ouderkerk aan de Amstel (Old Church on the Amstel)

The bridge at the charmingly named Ouderkerk aan de Amstel (Old Church on the Amstel). They let cars use it too, but they have to wait their turn.

Not far out of Ouderkerk is this bike bridge across a busy motorway, allowing Dutch riders to reach the Ouderkerkplassen.

Not far out of Ouderkerk is this bike bridge across a busy motorway, allowing Dutch riders to reach the scenic ride on the other side. View is from the top level of the Fletcher Hotel.

Okay, this one may not be so beautiful in itself, but I'm very fond of it, since it's just along the canal from our apartment and allows me to ride into the lovely Vondelpark without meeting any cars.

Okay, this one may not be so beautiful in itself, but I’m very fond of it, since it’s just along the canal from our apartment and allows me to ride into the lovely Vondelpark without meeting any cars.

Ijburg is a new housing development on a new Amsterdam island. OF course that requires a new bridge.

Ijburg is a new housing development on a new Amsterdam island. Of course that requires a new bridge. It’s also for motor vehicles, but note the wide, car-free bike path.

Here's my attempt at photographing the bridge in Purmerend - without the aid of a chopper.

Here’s my attempt at photographing that Melkweg bridge in Purmerend – without the aid of a helicopter.

Sometimes the simplest ones are the best. This is the bridge over the lovely, tiny, Waver River, south of Amsterdam.

Sometimes the simplest ones are the best. This is the bridge over the lovely little Waver River, just south of Amsterdam.

Any other bike bridges I should add to my list? Just let me know and I’ll try to visit them – or at least find a photo on the web.

12 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Cycling, Holland

12 responses to “SIX BEAUTIFUL BRIDGES – for bikes

  1. andreengels

    Bicycledutch (Mark Wagenbuur) has a large number of blog posts on cycling infrastructure in the Netherlands, see http://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/, and apart from the Purmerend bridge, a number of other beautiful and/or interesting bicycle bridges get a mention (see ‘bridge’ and ‘big bridge’ in the subject cloud on the bottom):
    * the Nesciobrug in Amsterdam
    * De Oversteek in Nijmegen
    * the Meerwijksebrug in ‘s-Hertogenbosch
    * the Jan Waaijerbrug in Zoetermeer
    * the Groene Verbinding in Rotterdam
    And then of course there is the Hovenring in Eindhoven that could also be considered a bridge

  2. Jenny Thompson

    I remember the Melkweg for other reasons from the 70’s! Love the bridges though
    Jenxx

  3. SIX BEAUTIFUL BRIDGES – for bikes NEAR AMSTERDAM.

    😉

  4. Oh wow, Richard, you are sooo lucky to live in a country that looks after its cyclists’ safety and actually builds *infrastructure* just for them.

    South Africa is quite useless… Cyclists are expected to share the same roadway – with a teeny dotted line demarcating the “dedicated” cycle section… And then our ‘cycle lanes’ end abruptly and arbitrarily… as though your bicycle is supposed to suddenly morph into a car.

    • I know the problem from living in Sydney, Reggie.

      The good news is that Dutch cycling infrastructure didn’t just happen and hasn’t always been there. It’s the result of long and continuing campaigns by dedicated cycling advocacy groups.

      I say that’s ‘good news’ because it means it can happen in other places too eventually.

  5. I really wouldn’t want to tackle that Melkweg bridge on a bicycle. I recall a nice bridge in Delft but can’t recall its name, it might have been the East Gate bridge?

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