This is what the street right outside our home looks like this evening. The local children have been playing hopscotch. Anyone on the way in or out by bike or in a car has to take care around the children. No parental supervision is needed.
Our home is in the middle of the google maps image. You'll see how these houses are built around a small green with a little playing equipment. The message is quite clear. The street is not merely a space for cars, it's a space for children to play. For people to socialise.
On New Year's Eve, one of the neighbours put up a tent so all could get together and socialise in this space.
This is a quite typical example of planning of a residential area in the Netherlands in the early 1970s (our home was built in 1972). The same principles are still applied, with the same results.
A later blog post shows an example of a hopscotch game built permanently into a road in a residential area.
A Cul-De-Sac ? Isn't that "bad" ?
Like everywhere else in Assen, and indeed across the nation, whether cul-de-sac like this or another street design, all residential streets are connected to the finely spaced grid of very high quality cycle-routes which cover the Netherlands. There are two high quality cycle-paths, both four metres wide, within 200 m of our home. These take us to every destination. There is no single design of residential street which discourages cycling and walking, it's the lack of a decent network of cycling facilities and the lack of subjective safety on the roads which do exist that cause the problem.
Both areas feature on the Study Tours that we organise in Assen.