Is the woonerf useless? – Hans on the Bike


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Is the woonerf dead? - Hans on the Bike


One of many Dutch ‘inventions’ that comes up typically after I speak about site visitors with Canadians is the “Wooh-nerve”. Initially I wasn’t certain what they had been speaking about however I quickly discovered is in regards to the ‘woon-erf’.

A woonerf is an idea that rose to fame within the 1970’s and 1980’s to power site visitors to decelerate in residential neighbourhoods, giving the streets again to non motorised autos and hopefully to extend social interplay. It was developed by Niek de Boer in Emmen in 1968 for a brand new neighbourhood and additional carried out and adjusted for current nineteenth and twentieth century streets by Joost Váhl, a scholar of Mr. De Boer.

Woonerf, koolsla and jacht

The woonerf comes from the Dutch phrase ‘wonen’ (to dwell, as in “Ik woon in Canada”, or “Ik woon in een huis”) and the phrase ‘erf’, which is the realm across the farmhouse the place chickens roam, the canine guards, the milk cans are cleaned and the wood sneakers scrubbed for Sunday. It's typically translated as ‘living street’ in Anglo-Saxon nations. Typically although, the phrase ‘woonerf’ is solely utilized in English too, following such helpful phrases as ijsberg, stoep, koolsla and jacht. You actually do extra Dutch you then realise.

What are the traits of a woonerf

You’ll acknowledge a woonerf whenever you see one. You typically see the lovable footage of an olde Dutche streete, with a couple of pavers taken out, bike racks and bushes introduced in, a bit ziggy zaggy site visitors circulate design, a park bench or two. They're normally reconfigures older streets. Woonerven look completely different within the suburbs as they had been designed on the drafting desk.

Necessary traits are:

  • Velocity restrict down to fifteen kph, initially ‘walking pace’, however that could be a bit summary and fuzzy, therefore 15 kph
  • Parking solely in devoted locations and sometimes not in entrance of your personal home
  • Pedestrians can use the complete area (however can't simply bounce in entrance of a automobile)
  • No distinctive sidewalks or ‘car space’, i.e. no curbs
  • A particular entrance
  • Inexperienced area, planters, bike racks

A go to to an historic woonerf

Having time on my fingers throughout my go to within the Netherlands, I biked to many locations from my youth and this week I become my grandmother’s woonerf. I vaguely remembered the place she lived however had no clear reminiscence of it anymore. I observed that after practically 40 years some elements of the woonerf may use a little bit of maintainance.

Is the woonerf disappearing?

However biking by a lot newer neighbourhoods of the final say ten years, I observed no new woonerven (plural) are being constructed anymore. So I requested Mark Wagenbuur, generally known as BicycleDutch on social media and web site, why that's. He defined to me that the 30 kph zones have mainly changed the woonerf idea beneath the Sustainable Security umbrella. What you'd see now's moderately than one avenue devoted as a woonerf off a extra common avenue, you’ll discover a complete neighbourhood with a 30 kph pace restrict and a number of other design options to gradual site visitors down.

Separation of driving and strolling once more

The 30 kph zones do have a separate half for driving/driving and for strolling. The streets could be terribly slim as I skilled after I needed to again up (in a automobile) when a automobile got here from the opposite path. There may be devoted parking although and you'll discover drempels (pace humps) each whenever you enter a 30 km zone and all through the neighbourhood.

The woonerf is just not useless, however from what I see right here in Lansingerland, issues have modified. I nonetheless suppose it's an superior idea that ought to not simply fade away. I learn an article about a brand new improvement in Sion, south of The Hague, which I ought to go to too as my dad’s roots are there.

Leaving the woonerf one crosses a separated bike lane and facet stroll at degree

Listed below are some images to share with you ways a woonerf from the 1980’s seems like now. I'm including a display screen shot from Google for the fowl’s eye view. I additionally added a submit just lately about density in Dutch villages and neighbourhoods.

Woonerf in Lansingerland: be aware the parkette and the pond within the centre
Getting into the woonerf

Additional studying

Here's a web site that's nonetheless constructive and hopeful about woonerven (In Dutch): Woonerven | MENSenSTRAAT.


You possibly can view the unique submit right here

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