After the perpetuation of coronapistes for bicycles in 2020, the arrival on French territory of Dutch junctions in 2021 raises many questions. The town of Pantin in Seine-Saint-Denis, a few pedal turns from Paris, is one of the first towns in the Île-de-France region to install this type of cycling facility to make it safer for cyclists at major intersections.

What is a Dutch crossroads?

You may have come across it without knowing what it is. Also called a protected junction, it is an intersection made up of 2 rings. One on the inside for cars and the other on the outside reserved for bikes.

carrefour hollandais protection cycliste pantin

The brightly coloured cycle track (usually green) makes it easy to identify the axis for bicycles. As with a children's play mat, these rings are marked with dotted lines to reinforce their visual appearance.

Although this may require some adaptation, the use of this type of cycle track is much simpler than it seems. The design of the Dutch crossroads makes it possible to make cyclists' journeys safer by eliminating the blind spots that can occur on a conventional roundabout or crossroads.

The special feature of the Dutch junction is that it gives priority to cyclists and pedestrians.

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A safer environment for bicycles

For fear of accidents, the roundabout is too often a dangerous intersection for bicycles. This new device, the result of the Covid-19 health crisis, makes traffic between cars and bicycles (and electric scooters, by the way) more fluid and safer. However, this protected junction intrigues many motorists and even pedestrians who do not necessarily know how to approach its operation.

Encourage the use of bicycles on major roads

According to the statistics, the number of cyclists counted on the main roads (departmental roads) has more than tripled in one year. This is expected to continue, thanks to the Loi Orientation Mobilités (LOM) combined with the return of fine weather.

place de catalogne paris montparnasse roundabout bicycle protected

More and more people want to use their two-wheeled vehicles in order to get away from their large vehicles and to promote social distancing. However, in order to convert a maximum number of people to cycling, the road must be adapted to cycling.

A demand from cyclists to feel safe

Safety is a huge factor in encouraging the use of electric bikes and scooters. Following the perpetuation of more than 170 km of cycle tracks in Île-de-France since 2020, the increase in the number of cyclists on the roads proves that there is a strong demand.

The road adapts to the new flow of bicycle traffic

After decades of favouring the car, large cities must drastically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. It is therefore important to make the roadway more bicycle-friendly. It is important that the growing number of cyclists can coexist with motorists.

protected Dutch crossroads explanation of operation

How do you take a Dutch crossroads by bike?

Always at the forefront when it comes to favouring cyclists, the Netherlands has had this type of arrangement that effectively protects bicycles in urban areas for several years.

Here is how this new generation cycle track works, reducing conflicts between cars and bikes to a minimum:

Nothing could be easier for the cyclist. When cycling on the Dutch crossroads, you have the right of way on the coloured track.

And if cars have to let you pass, they will have you in their sights. The design of this intersection reduces the risk of accidents by eliminating blind spots in cars.

electric bike weebike

How do you take a Dutch-style junction by car?

For the motorist, however, it takes some time to adapt. Because with the speed and the many road markings, it can at first sight be off-putting.

The motorist on this intersection protecting the cyclist and pedestrians must give way to them. The operation then consists of following the rules of the roundabout.

The car stops at the first dot before the cycle track, then once in its traffic ring, the car driver, if he wants to go straight or turn left, must stop at the next dotted line to let other vehicles coming from the right turn. 

To exit the ring, once again, it must give way to ecomobility solutions if they cut through the intersection. In any case, the car has to slow down strongly in this intersection. This avoids many accidents with a better visibility of the surrounding traffic.

carrefour protege hollandais cycle track pantin seine saint denis


In order to convert people to soft mobility while promoting social distancing, the Île-de-France via the various departmental councils aim to make 100% of departmental roads safely cycleable by 2024. This kind of cycling facilities combined with the extension of Low Emission Zones(ZFE) should make the crossing of our municipalities more pleasant for urban travel for the benefit of all.

Urban mobility




Très belle photo , mais les doubles chevrons, réservés aux accotements carrossables des chaussées à voies centrale banalisée (CVCB ou chaucidou ) , ne doivent pas figurer sur une bande cyclable ou ne doivent figurer que les silhouettes de cycliste

Yann from Weebot

Yann from Weebot

Hello Zozo,
Thank you for the precise information! Indeed if in the case of Pantin the lights have been kept, the operation is not quite the same.



Attention. Your article is based on the example of Pantin, but the intersection is always managed by traffic lights, unlike in the Netherlands. The priorities apply once the traffic lights have been respected.



Very nice article. It is clear! Thanks Weebot.



Thank you very much!

No one talks about it and yet it is so important!

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