Groningen Road Systems

Dan's still not sure how he managed to survive Groningen's Road Systems. To summarize... better not leave your house.

Sweet Winklewagon! a Dutch crossroad. ‘Do I have right of way? I did yesterday, but do I today?’ Green. Crunch. Go. You indicate–MEEEP. A moped zips past; you’re now stuck between crossings, head in your lap, whilst people leap back onto the pavement in horror. What the focaccia causes this?

Groningen’s Road Systems. There will never be a time when you won’t need to remember the most important rule of the road: anything goes in the ‘World Cycling City.’

Dutch Roundabouts. Once you manage to force your way on, you not only need to watch out for cars that will, without looking, cheerfully crush you, but also for the buses from Speed that cut (literally) straight through the middle! Best advice: if it’s larger than you, or Keanu’s driving, let it go.

Even walking is stressful. Zebra crossings, the universal hallmark of pedestrian safety, are placed on junctions: great for cutting down on over-population. In my experience, avoiding zebra crossings means not dying… on a zebra crossing.

You may be killed, however, by ‘snorfiets’ (mopeds), which run-rampant in bicycle lanes (built for bicycles) at over 60mph, but only if the driver has no helmet (!?). Yes, that’s genuinely a law. And if at first you don’t hear them coming, their self-restraint to not over-use their Beaker-voiced horns is nil. ‘Scooteroverlast!!’

But the Dutch don’t simply like to suggest that road rules are obsolete, for, beyond 10pm, the Hunger Games really begin. Traffic lights flash amber, explicitly highlighting that ‘anything goes.’ So shut your eyes, hold onto your bells, and kiss your crank ‘tot ziens!’ as the games begin! It’s safe to say, Cole Porter would explode if he visited the Netherlands.

To summarise: don’t bike, don’t walk, don’t drive, and do not even think about leaving your house.