All about cycling in the Netherlands
Rain! We almost need to apologize when we draw attention to it nowadays, because, as you know, It Almost Never Rains! But… as will become clear from this post, it does rain sometimes! The past week was a week with some very wet days. It also rained during the morning rush hours. But everybody still had to get to work and school and so I pointed my camera at all those brave people who just kept on cycling as they always do. Perhaps they dressed up a little different than they usually do and perhaps they also looked a little less happy than they usually do on their bicycles, but at least they were still there.
It is winter now, so we would have liked it to look a bit more like winter, I certainly would, but there was nothing like winter so far. After last December was the first ever December on record without temperatures dropping under the freezing point, January hasn’t been very winterlike either. There was some snow and ice in the north of The Netherlands in the first month of this year, but nothing like that where I live and work. Winter isn’t over though, we could still get something. Last winter, first snow was on the 27th of December 2014, but that can sometimes also only be on the 3rd of February, such as in 2012.
Back to that wet morning rush hour. I filmed it on the five new bridges over the also new city moat of Utrecht. The bridges may be ready for the most part. The traffic situation in the area is far from finished. That means the flows of people cycling are still not where they will be in the end-situation, leading to very crowded areas that will be less crowed in future and areas with a lot less cycling that will see more cycling in future. Even without the proposed solution for such busy cycleways which I showed you last week. The signals are also still in temporary traffic light installations. Most of the poles are in concrete filled old oil drums. It will take a lot of time before the bus lanes will be in their final location, and finishing the new buildings here will also take a few years more, so the people of Utrecht need to have a lot more patience before everything is finalised here. Some finishing touches are ready now: the city was busy putting in stairs to the waterside path. I hope the last of the five bridges, which is a bridge for cycling, could be opened soon too. It would disperse the flows of cycling a bit more and it would give you more options to go around the flow of buses at this location.
Cycling in the morning rush hour in the rain, this week’s video.
The latest aerial picture from just one month ago shows the actual situation is still far away from the renderings of how everything will be. The five bridges are there but only one of the three water branches is really finished. Especially in the foreground, what should become a small park with a bus lane, it is still a mess. The bus lane makes an extra curve where the water should be. There are thousands of bicycles parked in what should become green. It will take years before that can be changed. The city is building the largest bicycle parking garage in the world for those bicycles. That will take another two years to be finished. Only when those bicycles are gone the bus lane can be relocated and the last branch of the water can be dug. The water at the top right of the picture is almost finished. The people of Utrecht hope to sit on a terrace under the parasols (that can be seen on the rendering) this coming summer!