Trial with priority for cyclists

This autumn, Amsterdam started a trail to make intersections of a busy cycle route with a priority road safer and more pleasant.

The trial is also known as the displaced shark teeth trial. One of the trial locations is Weesperplein. There, large groups of cyclists along Sarphatistraat cross priority road Weesperstraat. After crossing the lanes for cars at a green light, the cyclists of Sarphatistraat must give way to the way fewer cyclists on the cycle path along Weesperstraat. Shark teeth* on the intersection of the cycle paths indicate this. This leads to hassle, dangerous situations, irritation and sometimes to bicycle jams on the car lanes.

Relocating the shark teeth

The simplest solution would be to move the shark teeth on the intersection of the cycle paths. So that the large flow of cyclists who crossed the roadway have priority. But it is not that simple, as it is not allowed by law. The cycle path along Weesperstraat is part of the priority road and, according to the law, must have the same priority as the roadway. Nevertheless, there are examples of intersections with 'displaced' shark teeth in the Netherlands, also in Amsterdam: Vondelpark - Amstelveenseweg, since 1998. There it was introduced to allow the large flow of cyclists of Vondelpark cross smoothly with Amstelveenseweg. Not perfectly legal, but it works well.

Weesperplein Before and after relocating the shark teeth at Weesperplein.

Legal issue

As the current situation is quite difficult for cyclists, but a solution is legally complicated, there will now be a trial at three locations first. In addition to the Weesperplein, these locations are Max Euweplein - Vondelpark and Rijksmuseum- Stadhouderskade . Project manager Naomy Gutierrez of the municipality: 'At first, the traffic police were opposed: it is not legally possible - cyclists along the priority road must have priority. They are concerned about the liability of the city if something might go wrong. The trial is intended to see what displacing the shark teeth does to road safety. We do this in collaboration with knowledge centre CROW , because more municipalities are facing this issue. The results of the trial can provide substantiation for making relocated shark teeth a legal option. If something is not allowed by law, but it is still safer, the law can be adapted.”


For the test, cameras will be used to follow what happens. The baseline measurement will start in the autumn, after that the cameras will follow the modified intersections. Gutierrez: 'The aim is to properly visualize the interactions between cyclists. Who slows down? Are there (near) collisions? Who runs a red light? The analysis will be quite a puzzle. In addition, we will also conduct qualitative research, to find out what cyclists think of it. * Shark teeth are the triangular road markings that indicate priority in the Netherlands. What do cyclists think? We are conducting a survey to find out what cyclists think of the relocated shark teeth. The survey (in Dutch) can be found here.

In 2021 Canadian bike vloggers Small Places made this video about the bike-bike priority at Rijksmuseum (before the trial) and Vondelpark-Amstelveenseweg.

Museumpassage Before and after relocating the shark teeth at Rijksmuseum.
Max Euweplein Before and after relocating the shark teeth at Max Euweplein.

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