AARoads Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: The Texas-Sized Freeways of Holland  (Read 1402 times)

Chris

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2443
  • International road enthusiast

  • Age: 34
  • Location: the Netherlands
  • Last Login: August 15, 2022, 03:35:09 PM
    • Flickr
Re: The Texas-Sized Freeways of Holland
« Reply #25 on: May 31, 2022, 03:46:14 AM »

The Netherlands did not have a history of central business districts in the city center, so there was less of a need to build freeways into cities. In fact almost all freeways in the Netherlands were built on undeveloped alignments, there was no large-scale right of way clearing in urban areas, as occurred in the U.S.

The first national road plan of 1927 had the national roads intersecting in the cities. This was moved to large junctions outside cities in the 1938 plan. These were initially planned as large traffic circles. This was changed to free-flow interchanges in the late 1950s. Several of the most famous interchanges in the Netherlands started their life as a traffic circle.

english si

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 3644
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Buckinghamshire, England
  • Last Login: July 02, 2022, 05:33:16 AM
Re: The Texas-Sized Freeways of Holland
« Reply #26 on: May 31, 2022, 04:41:58 AM »

Some random points.

The Netherlands is very dense by North American standards - New Jersey is close, but not quite as dense. And despite mostly being single family housing it's not US style suburban sprawl - it's clustered into compact towns with fields between. Local journeys are very cycleable as the distances involved are fairly short - even in villages it's usually not far to a town and it's amenities. Likewise, even without freeways to/through the centre, the big cities ring road motorways aren't too far out and your 'last mile' surface road journey through an urban area is not going to be more than 5 miles (as an extreme). It's not London where you could end up doing 15 miles on rubbish radial roads.

The Dutch take transport by all modes seriously, but roads are low in the priority pile compared to its usage. They want the carrot method of reducing road traffic by having people attracted to using the quality trains, cycling, etc. They used to go with a more stick like approach on the roads and went for a good decade doing low effort-low reward road congestion solutions like shoulder running. However they decided the carrot was enough and so have nearly finished a large scale rebuilding and widening of the places that needed it, with a few new highways designed to relieve existing ones also being built.

To be fair to the pro-bikes/transit lobby that ignore this important part of why the Netherlands has good transportation,  the Dutch made improvements to the alternative modes in a corridor before they rebuilt the freeways to be high quality. The building your roads better part of Dutch transport is something that happened after they did all the other stuff, or, at best, alongside.
Logged

Chris

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2443
  • International road enthusiast

  • Age: 34
  • Location: the Netherlands
  • Last Login: August 15, 2022, 03:35:09 PM
    • Flickr
Re: The Texas-Sized Freeways of Holland
« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2022, 01:58:24 PM »

Braided ramps exist at a number of locations in the Netherlands.

1. A2 Eindhoven. AADT = 196,000


2. A4 The Hague. AADT = 280,000


3. A12 Utrecht. AADT = 232,000

bing101

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4327
  • Last Login: August 15, 2022, 07:44:57 AM
Re: The Texas-Sized Freeways of Holland
« Reply #28 on: July 23, 2022, 12:43:28 PM »

My point is that the Dutch have not in fact solved all their transportation problems with bike lanes, despite what many will have you believe.

I'm from the Netherlands and this is a point I often like to make. The Dutch cycling infrastructure is not just good, it's a whole separate class compared to any other country in the world. Yet, the modal split is almost 80% car. It's actually only a few percentage points lower than European countries that do not have any cycling culture. Dutch public transit usage is relatively low because cycling is often faster in cities. Cycling options are great, but overall it's less of a revolutionary change in transportation than many advocates make it out to be.

Most people seem to think that densification is required for cycling to work. But that is not the case. The Netherlands is largely not a densely built urban environment, but mostly a single-family residential environment. This allows for cycling infrastructure to be mostly separate from roads, including grade-separation. In the Netherlands, cycling is in fact better in suburban areas than in the city cores, where there is less space and more stops. This is also good for drivers: unlike other countries, cyclists don't have to share busy roads with cars.

The Netherlands lacks very large cities. By far most Dutch people live in cities with a population under 200,000. These cities are compact, but not particularly dense. This means that cycling distances are often doable. However commuting is often between cities. Which is where the motorways come into play. The Netherlands has the second-busiest motorway network in Europe (after the UK). The busiest road in the Netherlands is A4 at the Hague, it carries 280,000 vehicles per day. These are traffic volumes you also find in Los Angeles or Houston.

I also like to add that a tourist perspective of transportation is often very different from a daily routine like commuting, running errands, going to family or for recreation. Many tourists visit Amsterdam and are amazed that almost nobody seems to be driving a car. But they do not see the 8 - 10 - 12 lane motorways around Amsterdam.


Its a sampling issue here. I would have guessed Trams, Trolleys and Metros would have been higher in some of the cities in the Netherlands like Rotterdam and Amsterdam given that the filming were near the center of those respective cities.
Logged

SectorZ

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2352
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Tewksbury, MA
  • Last Login: August 15, 2022, 05:18:28 PM
Re: The Texas-Sized Freeways of Holland
« Reply #29 on: July 24, 2022, 08:49:29 AM »

They may have wide freeways, but the important part imo is that there's plenty of high-quality alternative ways to get around in the Netherlands (trains, trams, bikes, etc), giving people a choice on how they would like to get around. This is something the US lacks, where everyone is forced to drive in most places, and that there's no alternative methods. It's my main issue with transportation in the US, not just a plan "hurr durr cars/roads are bad" that you see on reddit.

America has far less congestion than Europe. We're doing something right.
None of the images of Dutch freeways you posted look congested either, so I guess they're doing it right as well.
If we look at actual data, we see that American cities dominate the list of least congested
https://www.tomtom.com/en_gb/traffic-index/ranking/

I bet Kyiv isn't third-worst in the world anymore.

Given how low Boston is on the list, where many other lists have Boston as top 5 or even worse, I wonder which ones you can believe.
Logged

Scott5114

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 15616
  • Nit picker of unprecedented pedantry

  • Age: 32
  • Location: Norman, OK
  • Last Login: Today at 01:12:56 AM
    • Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards
Re: The Texas-Sized Freeways of Holland
« Reply #30 on: July 24, 2022, 02:34:50 PM »

They may have wide freeways, but the important part imo is that there's plenty of high-quality alternative ways to get around in the Netherlands (trains, trams, bikes, etc), giving people a choice on how they would like to get around. This is something the US lacks, where everyone is forced to drive in most places, and that there's no alternative methods. It's my main issue with transportation in the US, not just a plan "hurr durr cars/roads are bad" that you see on reddit.

America has far less congestion than Europe. We're doing something right.
None of the images of Dutch freeways you posted look congested either, so I guess they're doing it right as well.
If we look at actual data, we see that American cities dominate the list of least congested
https://www.tomtom.com/en_gb/traffic-index/ranking/

I bet Kyiv isn't third-worst in the world anymore.

It may actually be worse now—I think some of the road infrastructure (bridges mainly) got damaged in March, and I'm not sure whether Ukravtodor has gotten around to fixing things yet (there are understandably other priorities). Now that Russia has pulled back from Kyiv Oblast to focus more on Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson oblasts, people are back to their normal routines in Kyiv.
Logged

 


Opinions expressed here on belong solely to the poster and do not represent or reflect the opinions or beliefs of AARoads, its creators and/or associates.