Friday, July 20, 2012

Dutch Cycling Culture - Pictures from a Monday Night

I have been home just over a week from the Summer program at TU Delft. A few recollections from the visit to the includes some great photos of various people on their bicycles. Several college kids due to the proximity to TU Delft, some younger kids getting home from the train station. An ordinary Monday night in the Netherlands.

Creative transport of a case of Grolsch to a pre-
graduation party?
Riding "Dutch" style as a passenger.
Another Dutch style passenger, just a regular rear rack.
Carrying bags home from the grocery store. 
Canal bridge that is commonplace, maybe a little nicer than average.
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Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Path Forward

Any direction we take in the future looks great and you should have multiple options to get there. 
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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bike Parking, Rentals, & Security in Heaven

          Houten is called bike heaven for many reasons. One of my favorite sites in the City is the train station where the 3,000 bicycle parking spaces are provided to keep your trusty vehicle safe, secure, and  ready for your next trip. In case, you aren't at a station that you normally visit, the OV Fiets (bike rental service run by the National Train Service or NS) is ready to assist you throughout most hours of the day. It is a fantastic system that works across City boundaries, so as a resident of Houten, I can get a bike in most of the communities across the country without having to buy a separate membership. The cost of a day rental is less than 3 Euros and it is good for all day. What a deal!

Two ways to improve the system:
1. Have a wider range of bikes (probably increases the costs, but perhaps one could pay a premium for a different bike.
2. Allow bikes to be dropped off at a different station than you rented it from. This would be great for day touring. It seems that it would be easy enough to run a train to take the bikes back at the end of the day if needed.
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Visiting Houten - Bicycle Heaven, "Fietsstad 2008" - presentation by Andre Botermans

Andre Botermans from Houten
Andre is a planner with the city and had a tough act to follow from last year when Herbert Tiemens, an Engineer gave us the presentation in 2011. He started with a history of the town and nearby Utrecht. In 1867, it was 1600 people. It had a rail station that was central that ultimately became central to its development. Nearly 100 years later, in 1950, it was the same size.

In 1966, the regional government decided to build houses in cities and it was declared that  the rural areas would stay free from urbanization. Houten was tabbed in the second round of growth to 100,000. Citizens fought back and the number was reduced to 30,000. Paper on Spatial Planning - Structuurschets 1e groeitaak

Example of a park along the Houten Bicycle Highway. 
The Dutch used "Rational" Urban Planning based on the small scale, conscious of nature and the environment. Andre indicated that it was developed in a time before sustainable development was a fully formed concept. The idea started with the idea of a Bicycle City, leading bicycle routes to the train station. Car infrastructure was set up as a ring road without connections internally between sections of the neighborhood were going to emphasize bike safety by reducing interactions with cars. Also, cars are asked to give way to bikes in all cases and separated at the ring road.

The primary schools are located near the Central Greenway so access for children is guaranteed.  Parks are located throughout the city and many are connected to the Greenway.

Bottle return by bicycle (he biked with two on
the rear rack and had two more 12 packs in his
In Houten, "most of the things we do by bike". Everything is at such a short distance: shopping, school, parks, etc.
On the ring road, there are higher buildings to design as a gate to frame the entrances where you can go into the living area. The intent was to base the design like an old Roman town. These larger buildings on the Ring Road are often offices or else often used by elderly as they get a nice view of the countryside as apart of their location.

There are very few long roads, in fact the maximum tangent section used in planning is 250 feet. All of the bike routes are in red asphalt to communicate the intent of each facility.

They are planning a new roadway connection to A12 that will relieve some of the congestion to the main link to the freeway system.

Houten's bike safety record and crash rate is 31% of Dutch cities of comparable size because of the limited interactions necessary. When thinking about this, I think this is a result of a high percentage of families (it is a suburb) and the higher income and education level than comparable cities. Nationally, 49% of the houses are owner occupied. Houten is 70% owner occupied and the second phase will be 80%. There is a lot of discussion about this that could be called go question. Houten is a more expensive suburb than many surrounding communities. So to say that Houten's unique design makes a community 70% safer would be an overstatement, but Andre didn't make the case for that, he just stated what the results are.

Bicycle parking in the Houten train station. 3,000 spaces!
Bike parking is fantastic at the Central station, with over 3,000 spaces. It is massive and free. No subscription or annual cost for parking bikes. They have 200 bikes often left over night, but they don't worry too much about that as they can sign them as needed and pull them away.

There is security cameras for the facility and a bike shop so that you can get help if you need it. The OV Fiets rental is also there if you don't have a bike and need one for the day. A little more on the facility here.

Andre indicated that there are a lot of cars in Houten. A lot of the families have dual income with kids so they have the means to buy cars. Many of the jobs in the community are white collar. The city estimates that 1/3 of employment is in Houten, 1/3 is in Utrecht, 1/3 is elsewhere. Future growth will seek to have equal jobs and the number of people. Utrecht is a 12 minute train ride to downtown Utrecht. Jobs outside if the Utrecht Central are accessible by bike or by transit transfer.

A few other interesting facts worth sharing about the community:

Housing in Houten has some unique
features, including these that are right
on the water.

  • The City wants to be careful to implement jobs with their expansions with the intent to use this to reduce GHG. 
  • 23 houses per hectare us the approximate density of housing. New area is 24 per. About 10 per acre. Pijnacker (near Delft) is 34 or 15 per acre.
  • The City officials are going about retrofitting the old village circa 1950 to make it consistent with the current standards, but it is occurring slowly due to financial constraints.

The "second growing task from the National Government is issued in 1991 and again Houten was not willing to grow, but the compromise was to end up at 60,000. Andre described several concepts that were laid out. Ultimately, the planners focused a new town along the railway south of the existing part. The urban planner was Rob Derks, who is retired now, but still lives in Houten. The new area has no central greenway, but a five sided greenway that has a smaller center and the existing center is strengthened.

The new town center of Castellum included medium density
around the city's second train station.
The south section was chosen by the municipality, but the land was owned by speculators. Thus, the municipality had to partner with the developer and it took a long time to get to a solution that wasn't too dense for Houten's vision. The new site is called Castellum and that has also been planned around a new station. Houten's existing center is intended to grow and the new south center will be a minor station.

It seems like a pretty fantastic minor station that if we completed community planning as they do would be a vast improvement in the Portland metropolitan area, but of course the existing communities are not nearly as farm focused and the development of streets and all of the other infrastructure is much different than the U.S. experience.

UPDATE: Here's a Youtube video summarizing Houten.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Day 9 - Travelling to Houten

As we prepare to head out this morning, I reread the post by Brian Davis What Jane Jacobs Might Think of “Bike Heaven” « Half the Fun (± 49%) that reminded me of the uniqueness of Houten from an urban design perspective. I am looking forward to the trip and a visit to nearby Utrecht.
The train ride was extended by 30 minutes due to some construction on the tracks between Gouda and Wourden, so we had less time in Houten than they year before.
The presentation was summarized here BLOG Reference and after a brief lunch we prepared a map to highlight the key sites to see while in the community. Peter Furth summarzed the list of 19 things to see including the grade separated bike roundabout, the developments around the train stations (Castellum which is the new one and Centrum which is the Round), and many of the 15 undercrossings of the Ring Road (Rondweg).
The following website summarizes the 19 points of interest.

Here's a short summary of the design of Houten, circa 2003.

DAY 6 - Weekend Trip to Leiden

After a busy week it was time to relax a bit and enjoy a community or two that I hadn't explored before. Some of the students went for a weekend tour of Dusseldorf, others to Amsterdam, but Rob and I biked to nearby Leiden. Leiden is a college town that has the oldest institution in the Netherlands. The number of universities seems to be high per capita, but they aren't as large as ours in the U.S. One could argue that 40k plus students is not the most effective learning environment.

One subject of debate throughout the week is why and how the Dutch are so good at creating outdoor public spaces that work and are nice places to linger for a coffee or beer. The first and most important element of the best ones is that they are free from noisy traffic (autos or scooters). They offer opportunities to watch people go by. They are comfortable, qwe were in two  different ones yesterday that had outdor couches with umbrellas. The spaces they create are largely free from beggars and maybe thaf is a functiin of their excellent social services network (Rob said this isn't always his experience in Italy (as an example).

We discussed the area aroud Skidmore Fountain and the new Director's Park. The latter is truly a great place because it offers an attraction (water feature), a place to sit (under the glass canopy), restaurants and cafes, and is close to the main shopping district.

One thing the Dutch don't beat us on is coffee, ours is superior by far.

Traffic Signal Phasing Design - Dutch Practice

Today, after the student lecture I sat down with Theo Muller who is one of the most brilliant minds in traffic signal control in the Netherlands. He provided training on VRIGen which is a program used to develop signal timing phasing plans given the complexity of the movements for the multimodal system that is common with buses, trams, bikes, and pedestrians at so many intersections.
Signal Phasing Diagram (assuming a median) 

Incorporation of bikes, trams are something the Dutch have done because of the challenges or complexities these modes have presented as a part of large projects. The signal phasing numbering scheme is set up in VRIGen and it is used throughout the country to standardize and allow them to deal with all (most) possible options. It seems they have used every number from 1 to 100 to make the various modes work together under a standard umbrella.
Signal Phasing assuming Transit in the Median
Note: transit can turn from each direction and bikes wither would
be handled different than shown.

How is this different than the U.S.?
In the U.S., we have 8 vehicle phases, multiple overlaps, and pedestrian movements tied to the parallel vehicle and LRT is handled as a preempt as opposed to another movement. The standard signal controller is not prepared for light rail or bus crossings in both directions (east-west & north-south) running on the median. The Dutch also assume the special considerations of the use of multiple numbers to allow 2 stage crossings as a part of the bikes & peds because of their slower speeds. This also allows "following" phases to occur for vehicles so progression can be achieved through an interchange or a set of two signals, like you might have at a diamond interchange.

What common guidelines do they apply that the U.S. should adopt?
The maximum cycle length is a good place to start. 120 seconds is an eternity for peds and bikes and that value and higher is to going to result in poor compliance and high delays for public transport
Another common approach is to use snappy detector timing. The use of 1.5 seconds of extension from the upstream (advance) detector is limited to the detector placed 30 meters from the stop bar with a detector that is 12m long. They use a 2.5 gap on the stop bar detector with a 2.5 second extensin with presence mode enabled, meaning that when a vehicle is present on the detector it continues to ask for more green.
We discussed the use of leading pedestrian (or bike) intervals (LBI or LPI) and it was surprising to hear they use 2 secs. They use LBIs when there is no right turn lane exclusive for controlling the traffic separately in two separate "streams" which is much preferred in the Netherlands for safe operations that remain efficient. Notice I stated safety was first, Theo indicated that more than half of all signals are there for insuring safe conditions for all users. Our MUTCD is a far cry from that without the proper use of engineering judgement and a strong protection of future multimodal traffic growth.

What are the downsides of this approach?
There were a few things I would like to discuss more with a practicing Dutch traffic engineer. The common practice is to separate out the right turns. This clearly results in a different set of conflicts as shown here:
The bike movement is labelled 21 (on the left in the red brick area) and the right turn is labelled 6 in the graphic (to the left of the car you can see the right turn arrow). 
This sort of configuration represents a reduction in vehicular capacity if there is a heavy right turning traffic and the photo shows a shared left turning and through movement which results in some complications potentially. There is clearly an emphasis of bicycle movements at the intersections and in the photo you can see the pedestrian is not striped through the cycletrack. It is assumed that it is no problem for the people on bicycles to sort themselves out with pedestrians and it is clear to pedestrians that they aren't supposed to be in the cycletrack.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

PSU DELFT DAY 5 - Energy Production in the Greenhouses - The Netherlands

Our students enjoyed Friday's trip to the North Sea and the beach. There was a bit of mist in the morning, but by the time we got to Monster (that is the actual name of the place) it was warm and playing on the beach was a nice reward for cycling the 18 miles through the cities and towns between Delft and the sea. It was quite a bit different for me than last year because the kids weren't with us on the ride. We had great weather (we couldnt say that last year) and the visit to the Greenhouse was enjoyable.

A few takeaways from the Greenhouse:

In the winter months they do quite a bit of warming, so energy consumption was a cost of doing business
Burning kerosene was the old way and plants that were near the burner grew faster (due to CO2
Now that CO2 is piped in to increase production, plants eat it up!
Tiny roots are still started by hand (mechanical processes have been developed in the past three years but the costs of the equipment are very high)
There are royalties for the creation of plant species of $0.06 cents (is that Euros?)
The greenhouse produces 3 million plants a year
The plants are now designed to be ready in les than 8 weeks (7 plantings a year)

Greenhouses in the Electricity Production Role
The greenhouse makes as much money on power generation (depending on prices and peak demands) as they do on their original core business.
The Dutch energy system is more robust because of all these local farmers burning CNG to provide power or using thermal sources. We asked about brown outs and they sort of shrugged it off as something they are unfamiliar with.

The biggest takeaways for me was the power production that they are involved in. A fascinating development and diversification of their business

Future considerations could be whether they will incorporate solar (they obviously use it naturally in the greenhouse) and storing energy in battery systems to address peak demands.

They do a bit of shipping from the facility and they have rucks thaf do this. Taking a look at the vehicles I noticed they have guards on the wheels to reduce the likelihood of cyclists getting pulled under a wheel.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Bicycle Highway in South Delft adjacent to N470

There may be no better way to encourage people to use bicycles for transportation than providing separate facilities, completely free from the risk of injury. This sort of commitment would take a significant amount of effort and lucky for me in my job, we aren't quite ready to invest in that level of infrastructure for cycling in all cases. The Dutch have balanced the scales to make that commitment and the Bicycle Highways are the epitomy of this. 
     The bicycle highways (overcrossings and grade separations of paths) in the Netherlands are another . The cycletrack is all at grade with concrete separation (islands defined by curbs) defining the edges of the travelways. The red coloring indicates the cycling facilties and there is some wearing away of the markings associated with the heavy traffic movements that are occurring at this location (pictures were taken late in the evening).  This bicycle interchange near the TU Delft campus is at N470 and Schieweg. The interchange is grade separated from the N470 and for the parallel bicycle facility that connects the southern part of Delft with the Delft Zuid (South) train station.     
The bicycle signals are essentially two stage crossings for bicycle movements, carefully coordinated to reduce delay for motor vehicles and separated from pedestrians in order to keep the signal timing snappy.

The turning movements for cyclists seem fairly small and during busy periods I am unclear how they keep the main cyclepaths clear for through traffic.

The following video provides the perspective of a person on a bike approach from the west and accessing the Schieweg, the north-south street that crosses under the bike highway and the N470.

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Integrating Bus Stops with Cycletracks Using Ramps

  Continuing the previous blog related to Cycletracks and bus stops, the first photo is a lightly used bus stop and two way facility that offers a bus shelter on the bus loading area. This puts passengers close to the traffic which doesn't seem very pleasant.
The ramp from the cycletrack is farily narrow, but would seem to get a person in a wheelchair into a position where they can board the bus.  Posted by Picasa

The second example here shows the bus shelter on the other side of the cyceltrack and ramps to cross the cycletrack down at its grade. This is an example where the grade of the cycling facility is not altered to provide an accessible bus stop. The passenger loading zone seems quite narrow in this example.

Integrating Bus Stops into Cycletrack Designs in Den Haag

 The NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide highlights the design considerations for One Way Protected Cycletracks as well as Two Way. There's a few elements where the design guidance is weak because of the limitation of the project scope and the experience in the U.S. This post is intended to support the Guide with some observations from the Netherlands.

 Specifically, the last bullet in Typical Applications is as follows:

"Special consideration should be given at transit stops to manage bicycle & pedestrian interactions"

The Dutch have a lot of experience with both and my conclusion is that there are a lot of different ways that one can consider the needs of the various users. 

In this case in Den Haag, the cycletrack is flush with the sidewalk and the bus stop shelter area. There is a seam between the cycletrack and the sidewalk, but it appears that the intent is for one level to be maintained throughout the cross section. The brick on either side of the cycletrack is the same color and the curb defines the edge very well. 

The width of the cycletrack is maintained throughout the entire section. The bus shelter is very close to the edge of the Further down past the bus stop, this pedestrian is walking on the left of the cycletrack, where ample room is provided and the cycletrack transitions back to the intersection. The Let Op sign is angled toward vehicles that are operating in the travelway. The sidewalk gets very narrow adjacent to the building, not optimal and since everything is flush, there is no discernible ramp there.

Another good picture of the nature of the street cross section. 

The concrete curb on the left hand side of the cycletrack seems to define the end of the sidewalk and the skip striping is used through the intersection to transition people on bicycles through to the next section of cycletrack. The pedestrian here is approach the end where you can see the curb ramps around the pedestrian area and indicates that there is a transition to the intersection.

This is just one of the options that can be used. Future posts will include a cycletrack between the loading and the bus stop with a similar flush cross section and various examples where ramps are used. This is another example where it seems that there is a compromise of pedestrian space in order to maintain the cycling infrastructure.
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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Day 4 - Tour of Rijswijk and Den Haag and Discussion on Designing Multimodal Intersections - Day 4

Tour of Rijswijk and Den Haag

On the fourth day we had a tour of the suburb between Delft and The Hague, which is Rijswijk. Paul Wiggenraad, our host from TU Delft, is a resident of 25 years, so he has seen much change in traffic safety that he could share with the students. We had several stops along the way including the Den Haag train station. The Hague has two main stations, HS and Central (former SS), originating from two railway companies Hollandse Spoor (spoor is Dutch for railway) and Staatspoor (private company operating the lines built by the state). In 1938, these two merged in the Dutch National Railway systems. HS is a station on the Old Line (Amsterdam-Haarlem-Leiden-Den Haag-Delft-Rotterdeam) and SS is the terminal of the Utrecht-The Hague Line. 

The new entrance to the Den Haag HS station is modern. 

During the rebuild of the station, they added some fantastic
 bicycle tunnels underneath the old tracks. Pedestrians have similar access.

The station building dates from 1893 and is built in the classic Dutch style.
Obviously, much different than the backside of the building. Trams cross in front of
the station here and create a busy street that is a bit daunting to the first time visitor.

Along the Tour we stopped at a bicycle box that was used along the canal.
The vehicular travel lane is 7 feet wide, the bike lane is 4 feet and the opposing travel lane is 7 feet.
On-street parking is 6 feet and it was evident by all of the vehicles tight against the curb
and with their wheels (the larger ones at least) on the stripe to indicate parking.

We ended up on several bicycle highways, this particular overcrossing gave us
 a nice view of the cycletrack on the right hand side of the street, complete with the
separated right turn lane (note the stop bar set back 50 meters or more. The intent of
the setback is to limit the ability to make right turn on red and to improve visibility.
This sort of treatment has to reduce vehicluar capacity considerably.
It is worth nothing that the off-ramp to on-ramp movement (through at the signal crossing, in
other words what would be moving from from left to right in this view) is not allowed.
That movement could physically happen, but it isn't specifically allowed.  

Critique of Current Manuals

Upon returning to Delft, we had to resolve an issue with a flat tire and then we had a lecture on what we've seen and how that might be incorporated into our cities. Peter provided a summary of some of these elements as well as some of the limitations of the following documents.
AASHTO Bike Guide
NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide
He then proceeded to show the video: Junction Design the Dutch Way, after which  he advocated for designs of this nature with the students. The compromise for pedestrians is of interest and should be carefully considered. This is a subject worthy of more debate.

Separation of Through Cyclists from Right turning Traffic 

Peter Furth indicated that the Dutch manuals suggest separation of the right turning traffic and the cyclist movement when the right turn is greater than 150 vehicles.

PSU in Delft Day 4 - Rijswijk and The Hague

Garmin Connect - Details

PSU-Delft Technical & City Planning Projects

Technical Projects

The previous year's efforts were included in the 2011 NEU Wiki page.  The bullets highlight questions that may be answered as a part of your project. The intent is to provide a significant contribution to the topic of Transportation in the Netherlands whether it be Bike Signal, Pedestrian Operations, or Transit.

Rob Bertini's comments will be capture in real time in the Google Docs version of this list.

Bike Signal Design & Operations- Jake and JoAnna

Last year there was a team that focused on Bike Signals there work can be found here.
The City of Portland has done some work evaluating different technologies which is here 
  • Placement of signals (near or far, both) - how does it fit with the through movement
  • Right side of cyclists (standard - where does it say this)
  • Length of green, yellow, and all red (video data collection)
  • Separation of right turning traffic from bicycle traffic
  • Specific focus on interchange treatments
  • Reviews of NJ Walks, Traffic Signal Guidelines (Transpo Association of Canada)
  • Use of active warning signs. (NE Couch & Grand)
  • How are red lights avoided for cycling?

Pedestrian Operations and Accessibility with Bicycle Design - Kathryn and Tommy

  • Critique of Dutch Junction Design Concept, NACTO Guide for Pedestrians
  • Bad examples seen in the Nethlerands and what should be done. How Bicycle treatments and pedestrian treatments might be improved
  • Den Haag example near station where pedestrians are grade separated and are asked to cross midblock
  • Accessibility to transit stops
  • Pedestrian signal timing (is it sufficient for all users); research how they allow Walk and Flashing Don't Walk 
  • Cycle lengths and delay for pedestrians.
  • Pedestrian detection - is it only pedestrian push buttons?
  • Pedestrian accessibility from Delft garages - Koepoort garage (or others)
  • Specific measures to reduce speeds? How are pedestrians treated within that. Are changes in vertical in 30 km/hr ADA compliant? How could that be adopted in the U.S. 

Transit Integration with Bicycle Design - Jeremy, Derek, Zef, & Ryan (decide whether it is 4-person team or 2 2-person teams - see below for Competitiveness of Transit)

  • Tradeoff of width and volume of cycletracks and # of buses - are their guidelines
  • Cycletrack behind transit - Accessibility (what are the distances, grades, separation, etc).
  • Go visit locations and determine effectiveness as observed (peak period)
  • Review N Williams project or SW Broadway to determine issues that might be transferrable to U.S. (left side? is there any in the Netherlands? - could a 2 way cycletrack be the answer? for NE Multnomah issues with transit?) 
  • Streetcar tracks, what do the Dutch do to reduce potential bike and rail issues

Transit Competition 

  • What is the range of speed of buses, trams (light rail), Sprinter, and Intercity trains (check schedules and a variety of destinations)? Document what you find. Describe how this compares to Portland. Compare to car travel in the peak periods.
  • How do densities and transit service compare with Portland? Contact Jan to learn about densities of communities in the Haaglaaden.
  • Describe transit priority and ask about this with HTM. Does HTM work with the municipality on signal priority and other delay issues.  
  • How do transit agencies manage on time performance? 
  • OV Fiets and its use may improve competitiveness of a multimodal trip versus a car trip. Comment on this and how TriMet may have an opportunity with the Orange line.
  • How is car sharing used for longer different trips?

City Planning Projects

To be determined.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Haaglanden Regional Planning - Day 3

The speaker on Day 3 was Jan Termorshuizen from the Haaglanden who was has lectured to the class each year.
He described the overview of the region and what he's involved with. He highlighted the region's  Randstad Rail, cycling policy, physical planning and public transport, and Integral Planning.

An example of Integral Planning is the consideration that the Dutch must have for where water goes. Considering that much of the country is below sea level this is critical.

Population and Land Area - Details of the Hague

He described the Netherlands and compared it to the population and land area of Massachusettes, Conneticuit, & Rhode Island. From Wikipedia.

 • City andmunicipality98.20 km2(37.92 sq mi)
 • Land82.66 km2(31.92 sq mi)
 • Water15.54 km2 (6.00 sq mi)
Population (1 February 2012)
 • City andmunicipality501,725
 • Density5,894/km2(15,270/sq mi)
 • Urban1,022,256
 • Metro1,406,000

He also indicated that there are 15.3 sq. km of Industrial estates and 35 sq km of greenhouses.

Regional Planning Over Time

The regional government is guided by the intent to "Do local what can be done local, Do regional what must be done regional", suggesting that there are some communities that aren't large enough to have the expertise to serve a community effectively. [My experience in private practice indicated that there was wide variety of expertise in government agencies of all sizes].

Jan described the history of planning based on his 30 years experience. In the 1970s and 1980s he indicated that the Dutch had a policy of "Bundled Deconcentration" with new light rail lines in Rotterdam, Den Haag, and Utrecht. There were more cars during this period and larger houses. They used selective urban renewal which included displacing people.

In the 1990s there was a shift to build at the edge of the cities and extend urban railways systems. There was quite a bit of effort to complete traffic demand management measures. People didn't like the demand management portion, so when there was success there was a change in how the policy was communicated.  Jan introduced the ABC land use zoning with A being the type of office that you can easily serve with transit and C being auto focused development. They began using their ABC location policy of offices being very important to be near rail stations and recognizing that not all development needs to be well served by rail or public transport and finding success. They have been very good in recognizing the importance of this and integrating bicycle use throughout all different types.

In the 3rd Millenium, he characterized the lack of money for investment and public transport operations. There is a more business like approach of public transport and reuse of existing

Their goals is to include 60-80% of new housing within close proximity of high quality transit lines. An example of this is that the new Delft rail station will be 1,500 housing units and a City building integrated there as well.

History of Community Planning in the Haaglanden

Pijnacker in 1950 was a small community, "village" on the rail line between Den Haag and Rotterdam. Nootdorp was off the rail line but in between Den Haag and Pijnacker.

Zoetermeer was a new town in 1965 when there was recognition of the need for more housing and became a much larger urban area. The planners focused a significant energy around that area and there were several areas to the southwest of Den Haag and Tanthof.

He indicated that it was not a good development because there were limited jobs in Zoetermeer, so people had to travel. It was also too far away to make cycling a reality (Dutch range of cyclists is 12 km away), and few people are biking to their jobs. Zoetemeer is off the major rail line between Den Haag and Rotterdam, so it only has a rail connection (spur line) to the central city and the frequency was not high enough because there were not enough people at the Den Haag Central Station to make it attractive.

The central city of Zoetemeer also suffered from lower densities than most of the communities. Most of the development were 2 stories. There were a few 20-story buildings, but they weren't very popular.

Ypenburg was built in 1995 and was a former Air Force Base. The community included an expansion of the existing tram system into the system and there was also a new railway station on line between Utrecht and Den Haag. Being on the major rail station gives Ypenburg a distinct transportation advantage (for serving non-auto trips). It is also only 5km from The Hague, so cycling is an option for more of its residents in getting to work.

Future plans from Zoetermeer is to reconstruct the heavy rail line to be part of Ranstad Rail so that there is more local service and it is a more comprehensive system. The smaller vehicles offer cheaper service and there can be higher frequencies. The light rail trains have better accel and decel properties, so overall Jan felt it was a higher quality of service for accessibility.

Future of Planning and Public Transport

There's a recognition of some of the missteps from the past and energy is being focused on using operations at stations along public transport lines. There interest currently in developing along exsting railways and trying to avoid office developments in decentralized locations.

Peter Furth indicated that in Boston, the suburban communities are fighting for office space because they pay additional taxes than residential property and they don't send children to schools (which the locals have to pay for as well). The Hague doesn't seem to have any issues that are similar to this.

Jan described the current focus on Integrating Public Transport into community. There are 8 principles:

All areas have a direct PT link with city center and one of two main railway stations
All stations have one or more light rail with stops near the main entrance.
All homes have a PT stop at a maximum distance of 500m
Trams have high frequencies, so transfer is no problem
All railway stations and many tram stops have bicycle parking facilities.
Many railway stations have park and ride facilties
Bicycles in trams are not permitted, in light rail only after 7:00 PM and in weekends
Popular OVfiets (PT bike) system: will be integrated at each station.

Jan summarized the Randstad Rail system map and how it influenced the planning.  I haven't actually used the tram during my time in Delft. I have used the bus, but not the tram. The map of the Delft Line 19 that is being expanded to the TU Delft campus.

Enough summarizing the presentation. It's now time for the tour of the community!

Pijnacker and Ypenburg - Day 3 PSU GPS Track

The following link has our GPS tracks for our tour of Wednesday. Pijnacker and Ypenburg - Day 3 PSU 2012 by pkoonce99 at Garmin Connect - Details

Let Op - Dutch Yielding Behavior and Permitted Traffic Signal Operations

  I came across the following example of permitted signal operations on my travels and hadn't seen the sign Let Op with the arrows showing permitted operation of the signal.

The yield signs posted on the traffic signal poles are mounted low and are helpful for those that may be waiting at the signal and aren't familiar with the movement. I would assume that this isn't a very busy crossing and it serves as a reminder for those that are travelling it on a daily basis. If there was a problem, I am assuming that the protected operations would be a retrofit, but since the traffic is so low the risk is unlikely to be of major concern related to safety.

In the U.S., we don't often like to add a supplemental sign that explains the traffic signal control. the legibility of those signs is of a concern especially at higher speeds.

One of the principles we learned from the opening day presentations is that the Dutch place safety as the highest priority. One of the principles of this is that they don't want to have turning traffic at 70 km/hr because of the risk of a crash, so they don't have traffic signals at high speed intersections. As an engineer responsible of signal timing, they have it right. The inherent nature of speed limits at traffic signals, an argument could be made that the Dutch experience of setting lower speeds at signalized intersections is important for pedestrian and bicycle movement and if the higher speed is desirable separation of modes should be given serious consideration.

UPDATE: In class today, we were discussing what the difference between permitted and protected signal operation is and Peter called on one of the Northeastern students to give an answer. When he couldn't articulate the difference, he called on a student that had taken the "Traffic Engineering" class. I had to blurt in at that moment because 20 and 21 year old students that have been driving for 4 to 5 years, should be able to answer this question. This makes me wonder how permitted operation works as well as it does. Perhaps it is just such an obvious question that the students weren't able to articulate it because it is like asking how do you breathe?
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Day 2 - Pictorial Summary of the Sustainable Transportation Tour of Delft

The official blog of the day was submitted by Thomas Edlen. 
My bicycle while in the Netherlands.
I am staying on Rob Bertini's couch on this beautiful street in central Delft.
The view as you I pull out of the alley every morning! Fantastic.
The students on Day 2. 
The students are blown away by all the amazing infrastructure. 
Cycletrack crossing on Delftweg. Weg translates to road in Dutch.
Dutch right turn cycletrack slip lane. Notice there are no stop signs, very few anywhere in the entire country. 
Students returning from a day of touring (these folks are from U of 0).
Caffe Bertini at TU Delft is a coffee machine that offers the students free cappucino.
Sometimes one cup is not enough. 
Derek finds his disposable cup less than satisfactory.
Zef cares much more about the environment and is happier.
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