Utrecht considers a traffic distribution ring for cyclists
Bicycle traffic jams in the Utrecht city centre and the station area are not rare. Therefore it’s a good idea to spread the traffic. In order to achieve this, the road along the canal around the inner city will be converted to a distribution ring for cyclists.
This is the central idea of the initial draft for a new mobility plan for the city of Utrecht. Starting point for the plan is the combination of environmental planning and mobility. In practice this means defining the various urban 'environments', each with its own possibilities and restrictions. The A-environment consists of the inner city in a larger sense including the station area. The B-environment is the city inside the ring of about 1930, and the C-environment is the outer city, including the new residential area called Leidsche Rijn. The quality of the traffic networks will be associated with these environments. In the A- environment pedestrians and cyclists determine the scale and pace of things. Cars and public transport will be considered guests. There are no dedicated parking places in the streets, but there will be shared spaces. Much attention will be devoted to the quality of public areas. Within the B-environment pedestrians, cyclists, cars, and public transport will have to share the available public space. In the C-environment there are separate networks for the different modes, as well as P+R (“Park and Ride”) and P+Bike (“Park and Cycle”) facilities. Bicycles will be given a large weight in the development of attractive public spaces. Especially in the B-environment bicycles can attain a major share in the modal split. But with the increasing presence of the pedelec, new possibilities also emerge in the C-environment. Cycling traffic will therefore have the benefit of several premium throughways extending radially into the inner city, as well as connecting residential areas inside and outside the city to key business areas and important transportation nodes. The inner city alleys within the moat (the A-environment), are intended mainly for cyclists travelling to inner city destinations. The development of a circle route around the A-area will result in a reduced need for wide “cycling highways” within the historic A-area.