Monday, July 10, 2017

Understanding Dutch Design by Visiting Rijswijk, a suburb of The Hague

We gathered at the New Church at 9 AM and broke into two groups.
Paul and Peter lead the tours. We exited Delft on Delftseweg on a newly opened rebuilt fietsstraat. There was a lot of #FreshElmo as we headed north with several different configurations. One treatment that isn't very common is head in parking, which suggests that most configurations work in the Dutch concepts.

The Portland State University Study Abroad program visited Rijswijk, a suburb of The Hague and Delft. Rijswijk has 350 companies and 15,000 jobs with the two prominent local employers being the European Patent Office (2,700 jobs) and Shell (2,700 jobs).

The local planner provided a summary of the community's transportation plan and a few select projects. One example project was the new bridge in Broekpolder that opened up three years ago to connect Delftseweg to the west side of the river and the employment areas. Just as we arrived, the bridge opened and we got a nice view of the cross section, which also happened in 2015.

Cross section of the bridge (opened for barge traffic)

We stopped on the Delftseweg where we spent some time looking at the tram line (Route #1) and the Haagweg where the most narrow green space was installed to make the separation between the light rail tracks, the motor way, and the service road.

From left to right: Rail lines, auto space (with chicanes), cycletrack 

Our next stop was on Caan van Necklaan, which was a diagonal street that used to serve as a cut through for car traffic. The intersection of Da Costalaan was designed with a circle that provides bicycle through movement and limited access for automobile traffic.

General Spoorlaan was a facility that surprised me on this visit. It is a street that has a significant distance where four auto traffic lanes are carried through the signal, allowing for passing in front of the old City Hall. Our guide Paul indicated that this sort of design isn’t used today, and is a remnant of 1960 design principles.

Our host at Rijswijk mentioned that they will be reducing this cross section for traffic safety and to reduce maintenance costs. Peter Furth said: that’s brilliant and our host says: “It’s common sense”.


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