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conn donovan @conndonovan9
, 21 tweets, 8 min read Read on Twitter
After the #panaban fiasco in Cork, I had a look around for a city that managed to shift away from private cars. Enter, Groningen in The Netherlands. A city that is slightly smaller than Cork but with a slightly larger population. This is the story..
In the 1970's, Max Van den Berg (who was then 24) took over control for the city's traffic and urban development policy. Faced with a clogging city, he designed a plan that would expel cars from the city centre to give space for cyclists and pedestrians.
The Plan was simple. Divide the city into four sectors and prohibit travel from one sector to another; you had to go out and around the ring road to get from the SW to the NE and so on. In short, it would be a pain to drive in the city.
Shopkeepers and businessmen were livid. They were convinced the plan would affect their accumulation of shiny gold coins. They protested, painted slogans on their shops and marched to city hall. Sound familiar?
Van den Berg's successor, Jacques Wallage was keen to push on with the plan. He received threats and needed police protection but in 1977 the plan came into force. Overnight, 'the centre of Groningen became impenetrable for cars.'
The main square in Groningen, which had been a car park, was turned back into a historic market square. Trees were planted, bike paths introduced, and space given for people to enjoy the city.
Today, Groningen now has some of the cleanest air of all major cities in the Netherlands. And the economic Armageddon never happened.…
61% of all traffic movements in Groningen are made on bicycle. The average household owns 3.1 bicycles. But they are stopping just there...
The city's bike strategy plans to spend 85 million euro on cycling in the city in the first 5 years of the plan. This money will be spent on things like..
Adding 5,000 more underground bike spaces to the main train station's existing underground bike parking spaces. This will bring the total number of spaces to 15,000.
Ice free bike paths..
Traffic lights that are 'all cycling directions green' at the same time at certain junctions..
'Fietsroute Plus' (akin to Cycle Superhighways) with a detour factor of 1.2, a design speed of 30kph and guaranteed flow crossing at junctions.
Groningen looks a really nice city on Google Streetview. Lots of bikes, cars moving slowly down narrow streets, cafes and restaurants with plenty of seats outside.
There is even talk now of banning buses from the city centre to give even more space to cyclists, pedestrians and for people to enjoy public space. (Please tag your photos of lack of seating in Cork city centre here)
Meanwhile in Cork, less than 4% of commuters in the city cycle to work. This figure falls to 1.7% for the Cork Metropolitan Area. Cork City Council to spend 6.4 million euro in 2018 on ALL sustainable transport (walking, public transports, traffic management schemes and cycling).
The Cork City Centre Movement Strategy was the first serious attempt to deal with traffic in the city centre in years. The main aspect to the plan, a daily 3.5 hour private car ban on the main street in the city, was abandoned after 3 weeks.…
Council data shows that 130,000 vehicles enter the city centre each day but 87,00 have destinations outside the city centre. Not many people in this country like to talk about air pollution but it kills about 1,500 people in this country annually.
I will be vocal for my support of the #panaban when it is due to come back into force in August.
Just going to plonk this great article at the end of the thread now. Chapeau @decjordan !…
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