Cycling for Everyone
Cycling for Everyone

Tunnelvisionair: Amsterdam Trial Aims to Improve Cycling Experience in Tunnels

12 March 2024

Can sound, scent, feeling, or lighting improve the feeling of safety in bike tunnels? This is what the city of Amsterdam and mobility experts from Goudappel tested on Wednesday, February 28th.

The initiative was stemmed from a call by Amsterdam Bike City, a cycling platform under the municipality of Amsterdam and Transport Region Amsterdam, for creative solutions to make cycling experience in the region better. No matter how fun and healthy cycling is, it is not always experienced as enjoyable and can sometimes even deter people from cycling. So, they wondered what kind of innovative solutions can improve the social safety of cycling? This was the subject for the second edition of the Amsterdam Bike City Bicycle Innovation Lab.

The winning concept, Tunnelvisionair, was developed by mobility experts Iris van Hagen and Thijs Broers of Goudappel. At the core of their idea is the utilization of sensory elements to enhance the tunnel cycling experience. They believe that by appealing to senses that people find pleasant, such as sight, sound, and scent, it’s possible to enhance cyclists’ sense of social security while riding.

With a budget and time to prepare, they involved the public to identify the four most unsafe tunnels in Amsterdam Noord. Once they were selected, they observed the current state of the tunnels and asked users to share their experience with a questionnaire. After choosing a sense for each tunnel, they prepared for testing day!


Testing day: is the tunnel experience better through colorful lights, nature sounds, orange scent, and wind?

During the testing day, cyclists were invited to go through the tunnels and share their experiences. In one of the tunnels, vibrant colored lamps were illuminated on the walls and cycle path. A well-lit atmosphere is generally more pleasant than a dim one, and colors contribute to the overall ambiance. In the second tunnel, bird sounds filled the air, as natural sounds have a calming effect on people. The third tunnel was infused with a delicate orange scent, chosen for its association with freshness. In the last tunnel, fans created a breeze from the back, as the sensation of wind is universally comforting and provides an extra push while cycling.


Looking ahead, project leader Pepijn Verpaalen from the municipality of Amsterdam underscores the significance of enhancing tunnel safety to encourage more cycling and foster a greater sense of security among cyclists.

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Involved partners

Goudappel, Gemeente Amsterdam

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