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RijnWaalpad Arnhem-Nijmegen

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Showcase info

Location

Arnhem-Nijmegen

Duration

2008-2017

Involved partners

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Reason for intervention

The street, Middenweg Zuid, needed to be renovated to meet contemporary requirements. Before the renovation and redesign of the street, 325 cars, 1,200 cyclists, and eight buses per hour drove on this outdated street with bicycle advisory lanes. The road surface of the street was in poor condition, there were traffic safety conflicts between the different road users, and the trees besides the road were deteriorating due to their age.

Objective

The formal objective of the RijnWaalpad was to reduce congestion on the main highway as this was a main prerequisite of the national government. For the regional and local governments, objectives were also to increase the attractivity of the areas and to promote sustainable travel.

Building a cycling highway is just as much about (personal) cooperation between municipalities, regions, provinces and the national level as it is about developing technical standards.

Chosen intervention

The chosen intervention was to develop a convenient, hasslefree bicycle route between Arnhem and Nijmegen. This 18 kilometre route was built between two cities; the route is easy navigable, high quality throughout and a clear landmark for cyclists and commuters in the region.

Lessons learned

1. Building a cycling highway is just as much about (personal) cooperation between municipalities, regions, provinces and the national level as it is about developing technical standards. Creating (and keeping!) political support, flexible planning options and mutual considerations for each municipality’s challenge is key to building longer and inter-connected cycling infrastructure.

2. A cycling highway is not about top-speed; it is about convenience, not wasting (physical) energy, safety and lowstress. People choose these routes to have an easy, relaxed and reasonably quick commute. Travel time gains are not the main reason why people choose the bicycle; exercise, the joy of being outside and reasonable speeds matter more!

3. Be careful with the words: a ‘cycling highway’ fits into the car narrative of building multi-lane highways, sparking fears of noise, unsafety and other effects. But… The term is very appealing to regional or provincial decision makers: it fits the narratives of broader policy development; this might help you in the early development process of the routes.

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