Saturday, June 14, 2014

When there is not enough space people get priority

Utrecht has decided that the dominant types of transport in the old city centre should be cycling and walking. Streets which are due for maintenance are therefore reconstructed to reflect that policy. The newly reconstructed Domstraat and Korte Jansstraat show the city keeps word. These streets, which were clearly designed for the car in a different era, were changed into streets for people. This was done by drastically narrowing the main carriageway so the side walks could be widened significantly. The worn asphalt surface was removed and replaced by a much more friendly brick surface. Most parking spaces were removed as well. The area became a 30km/h zone and that means most traffic signs could be taken away. Before, the streets had priority over every side street and there were signs at every intersection to indicate that. In a 30km/h zone the priority is the default priority, which means that traffic from the right, so traffic coming from the side streets, has the right of way. Signs are not needed to indicate the default priority arrangement. All these measures combined send out the signal: motorists, you are a guest here, this is a people’s place now. The streets are optimised for walking and cycling. Read on on Bicycle Dutch.

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