Monday, 10 May 2010
My friend and collaborator Mark Wagenbuur has made another excellent video, this time showing the rush hour in Utrecht in Spring.
Utrecht's cycling rate is 33% of all journeys by bike. Far from the highest in the Netherlands, but of course they have plans to increase this. However, quite a lot of people live in Utrecht and the result is that the place already has impressive numbers of cyclists.
Note that the film was made a little late to catch all of the rush hour, and in particular school children were already at school so you won't see the usual masses of children amongst the cyclists.
The second film was made in the evening rush hour nearby (again this is too late to get lots of children going to and from school). You can see both locations on the map.
The entire area is to be redeveloped and information has been provided on the City of Utrecht website. Of particular interest is the section where they say "Vredenburg is one of the busiest junctions in the city centre. Every day, more than 22,000 cyclists and 2,500 buses pass this place. The challenge in designing this new junction lay especially in creating clarity and safety for all users. In the new design, cars, buses, cyclists and pedestrians are clearly separated from each other."
Note the priority is to separate different modes. If cycling is to be attractive this is essential.
Mark sent more information:
The deeper lying motorway that can be seen in my aerial picture on the right was planned in the 1960s and built in the 1970s in the old city moat. But it will be demolished (it was already closed just weeks ago) and the water will return. All the various cycle paths will be a lot less in number and straighter to make things clearer and the area might look like in the other picture I also attached. I hope it will create a better station area than what was created in the 1970s.
There is a whole booklet about this huge project. I don't know what would be interesting so here is the link. (it is interesting - an insight into Dutch planning which is in English)
Last but not least I just found a webcam that you can control.
positie #13 shows the junction in my morning video (if you click 'up' once, you can see where I was standing on the top left center and I was looking 'down' as it were) and positie #8 shows the junction of my evening video (if you click 'left' once, you can see where I stood on the left center and I was looking in the direction of the right of the picture)
Utrecht perhaps has the largest amount of cycle parking at a railway station of anywhere in the world. There are currently over 14000 cycle parking spaces at the station, soon to be expanded to over 20000. However, when I was there for a meeting a couple of weeks ago I couldn't find anywhere to park my bike, which ended up locked to a post with a "don't park your bike here" sign (all the posts without the sign were taken).
This map of Utrecht shows the cycling rate past various points in the city, as measured in 2005. The following points in the city had more than 10000 cyclists per day:
Lange Jansstraat 14850
Weg tot de Wetenschap 12130
Prins Hendriklaan 10200
Previously Mark made a video of the same place in winter when it had snowed. Compare the number of cyclists.