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Benefits of cycling
A cycle tunnel in De Bilt

A cycle tunnel in De Bilt

Around the main road between
Utrecht and Zeist, the N237, five cycle underpasses were proposed in 2010… for which the province of Utrecht
had a budget of 10 million euros. Nine years later,
3 of the tunnels have been finished, the fourth is under development. Unfortunately, the fifth couldn’t be built where it was
planned for technical reasons. The tunnels were supposed to increase traffic safety
for cycling as well as driving. Secondly they would decrease delays for buses. And thirdly they would make the main cycle network more comfortable… and also faster due to the removal
of traffic lights. The tunnels were planned by the Province in
collaboration with the municipalities. The first tunnel was opened late 2015 under the
road to the Utrecht University in De Bilt. The second tunnel was opened late 2016 in
Zeist under the widened road to Amersfoort. In 2019, it was time to upgrade
a very old tunnel in De Bilt. That cycle tunnel was constructed
together with the road it crosses, in 1937. The tunnel had become very outdated… and was much too narrow for today’s volumes of cycling
and walking. The locals often complained
about many (near) accidents. Almost a decade after the green light from the Province, the tunnel was finally constructed. That took little time. In less than three months the new tunnel was
built right next to the old one. The works started in August 2019 and pre-fabricated tunnel parts were
placed one by one for which the road it crosses only had to be closed for one weekend. The new tunnel is wide and bright and got a very striking work of art
on the walls and ceilings. The artist said she was inspired by the nearby national
weather forecasting service. The red and blue lines represent
the isobars or contour lines … on weather maps. There was still some finishing up to do… when I filmed, but the tunnel
has since been officially opened. The old tunnel will not be removed. It will be reconstructed to offer
smaller animals their own tunnel … to get safely to the other
side of the road. The new cycle tunnel was built with a budget
of 3.2 million euros and is a big improvement for the around 2,000 people who cycle this
route from De Bilt … in the direction of the Utrecht University
every working day.

10 comments on “A cycle tunnel in De Bilt

  1. How excellent. I'm still conditioned to think like an American, and how nothing nice can be constructed by our municipalities because it costs too much and there are no tax monies to pay for it.

  2. Every big city transportation planner needs to see this.
    Bicycles are a fossil fuels free transportation option.
    This reduces auto congestion, vehicle air pollution and fossil fuels use.

  3. Closing the road for one weekend ? Not a month ? If you continue to solve your transportation problems with such an effeciency you will see a quarter of the world's population coming to live in Holland over the next half a century !
    The rest of the world approach is somewhat different. Here in Warsaw the municipal government wonders how to squeeze bicycle lanes in the central district without cutting parking space. And the street parking space is occupied by cars that cannot go anywhere, because the street parking space is occupied by cars that cannot go anywhere, because ….

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