A story about putting people on foot and people on bikes at higher priority.

Amsterdam.Tunnel.1

This tunnel runs under the Amsterdam Central Station. The reasoning is this:

The tunnel gives access to the ferry terminal right behind the Central Station. Before this tunnel was open people had to either walk through the station or ride around it to reach the ferries to the North of Amsterdam. For cycling that meant a 3 minute ride. The tunnel can be traversed in less than a minute. So it shaves 2 minutes off every journey. The railways no longer want non-travellers in their stations, so that was another reason to build a route to bypass the station building.

The project was accompanied by controversy, and its basis should ring bells of familiarity in Vancouver.  We have such shared space zones, and similar concerns, but most people are not aware of them.

There was a storm of protest when the city of Amsterdam announced this summer that the cycleway through the tunnel would end in a shared space zone. With the existing cycleway alongside the IJ there are now three cycleways ending in that shared space zone. The space needs to be shared between people walking and cycling. Most of whom are going to or coming from one of the ferries. There was even an on-line petition to try and stop this plan, but the shared space zone was built. On the opening day it didn’t even look so strange.

Amsterdam.Tunnel.2

There is a similar tunnel in Vancouver under Georgia St., to help get people on foot and on bike between the West End and Stanley Park. But a lot more of them would make things a lot better.

Underpass.Georgia