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    SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORTATION IN THE NETHERLANDS


    This wiki was created by Northeastern University students as part of a study abroad program in the Netherlands in 2011 and 2012 entitled "Sustainable Transportation: European Perspectives," taught by Prof. Peter Furth with help from teaching assistant Tom Bertulis. Also contributing were students from Portland State University, led by Profs. Peter Koonce and Robert Bertini.

    I. Bicycling Facilities in Holland

    What kind of bicycle route facilities does one find for riding in Holland? Cycle tracks, bike lanes, bike boulevards, intersection treatments, network analysis, and more. Click here.


    II. Sustainable Transportation in Delft

    The city of Delft offers many good lessons about designing cities for sustainable transportation. Canals, trams, trains so fast and frequent that they almost function like a metro, large pedestrianized areas, a dense bicycling network, parking policy, land use policies that strengthen the city's shopping core, roads that don't create safety barriers for bikes and pedestrians, road diets, planning mistakes, and more. Click here.


    III. Designing Suburbs for Sustainable Transportation

    Sustainable urban transportation stems from a combination of land use policy (e.g., housing density, smart locations for employment centers and shopping centers, size and distribution of schools) and transportation policy (providing convenient and safe means for traveling by foot, by bike, by transit). In 1960, Houten (NL), Pijnacker (NL), and Mansfield (MA) had small centers but were otherwise rural; all three are now suburbs with population 25,000 to 50,000. What lessons in planning for sustainable transportation do they offer?

    A. Sustainable Transportation in Houten, The Netherlands

    Houten is a "new town" suburb of Utrecht, conceived in the late 1970's with a unique traffic circulation plan that makes it the largest slow-traffic cell known in a Western city. It is a unique plan, preeminently bicycle-oriented and family-oriented, recognized worldwide as a model but never duplicated -- until a large south Houten extension built around 2005 showed that it could be done again. Click here.

    B. Sustainable Transportation in Pijnacker, The Netherlands

    Learn about Dutch practices regarding zoning and urban expansion, and about how Pijnacker's expansion projects in the period 1998-2018 applies many sustainable transportation features including woonerfs, 30-km/h zones, roundabouts, a strong distinction between "through-traffic" roads and "local access" roads, and a traffic circulation plan that confines motor traffic but provides a dense mesh for bicycle traffic. Click here.


    C. Sustainable Transportation in Mansfield, MA

    Blessed with a railroad station and a sizable center developed around pre-war industry, Mansfield also evidences the pressures of highway-oriented development and suburban sprawl. Learn about its efforts to promote sustainable transportation within the American legal and economic context. Click here.


    D. Comparing Other Communities to the Houten Model

    Houten's cell model is well known in Dutch urban planning circles. While no other town has completely duplicated it, many towns and urban expansion areas have adopted aspects of this model. This chapter compares some Dutch and American communities to the Houten model. Click here.

    IV. Boston Design Projects

    Based on what they learned in Holland, students spent two days designing sustainable transportation projects for Boston. They are:

    Huntington Avenue Redesign for Bicycle Safety


    Downtown Boston Circulation Plan



    Allston-Brighton Bicycle Network

    A network of bicycle routes to make Dutch low-stress bicycling possible in and through the Brighton-Allston districts of Boston. Click here.

    Downtown Boston Pedestrian Zone Expansion

    Plans for a greatly expanded pedestrian zone in downtown Boston, inspired by the large and recently expanded pedestrian zones in Delft and The Hague. Click here.


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