0717 – Nijmegen

Upgrading Graafseweg: fewer lanes, more space for cyclists.

De Graafseweg will be undergoing major changes. The stretch from Rozenstraat (just behind the bridge over the rail track) to Wolfskuilseweg goes from four to two lanes. The section from the Wolfskuilseweg to the Cavaljéweg (a line of about 400 meters) remains four-lane, but gets narrower lanes. According to the lord mayor and aldermen, the changes ensure that traffic from outside the city no longer uses the center as a transit route to Arnheim. In the new situation, cyclists also get more space thanks to the construction of a wider cycle path or service road. Work on the Graafseweg will start as soon as the renovation on the Waal bridge is completed. This is estimated at the beginning of 2021. The Commission expects motorists to be on the Graafseweg for a maximum of 15 seconds in the new situation. According to alderman Harriët Tiemens, the redesign of the Graafseweg has many advantages: ,,It will improve road safety and quality of life. The Graafseweg is now sometimes used as a highway. We really have to get rid of that.”

New bicycle crossing

Also new: a bicycle crossing at the Cavaljéweg. This would mean that the current bicycle crossing at the Verbindingsweg, just under a hundred meters away, would be removed. Two years ago a serious accident took place at the Verbindingsweg, in which a 31-year-old cyclist died. Tiemens: ,,The planned adjustment also has everything to do with safety. The Connection Road is not a logical place for cyclists to cross.” The narrowing means that there will be room to construct a wider cycle path or even a service road on the residents’ side of the Graafseweg. That happens in consultation with the residents, says Tiemens: “They have the best view of that.” The number of lanes remains intact between Wolfskuilseweg and Cavaljéweg. “If we remove lanes there, there is a chance that nearby roads will be used as shortcuts and become overloaded.”

PR dgfoto Gelderlander Nijmegen: Graafseweg stad uitwaards

Previous work on the Graafseweg

In 2017, the section between Keizer Karelplein and Rozenstraat was already reduced from four to two lanes. Research has since shown that the effects of this on car traffic are minimal. According to the city council, the layout of the Graafseweg is still largely the same as in the seventies of the last century, when it was considered an important route between the north and south of the Netherlands. With the arrival of the A50 in 1976 and the construction of the bridge “The Crossing” in 2013, the Graafseweg no longer has that function. A narrowing is therefore only logical, according to the commission. GroenLinks, the largest party in the Nijmegen city council, also believes that changes to the Graafseweg are necessary. “There are reports of motorists driving 114 kilometers per hour on the Graafseweg,” says councilor Quirijn Lokker. ,,The redesign greatly increases the quality of life for local residents. There are hardly any disadvantages for motorists.”

Criticism from opposition and coalition party SP

Not everyone agrees with this: the Nijmegen groups from the VVD, Stadspartij DNF and VoorNijmegen, among others, have always strongly opposed a narrowing. That is no different now. “An idiotic plan,” says Maarten Bakker (VVD). “Why should bicycle paths be widened there? I have never heard of bicycle jams on Graafseweg. And liveability can also be increased without lanes disappearing. For example, consider extra green spaces along the road.” Finally Bakker finds changes to the Graafseweg premature: ,,Why don’t we wait until the s100 (route over Energieweg and The Crossing) flows through properly before we even start thinking about these kinds of things?” coalition partner SP is critical. “First I want to get all the facts right,” says SP leader Hans van Hooft. ,,What does an adjustment to the Graafseweg mean for the surrounding neighborhoods? On what does the alderman base the 15-second delay? If I am honest, I see few clues for this plan at the moment.”

0182 – Nijmegen

Experiment with narrow Graafsebrug in busy period

De Graafsebrug over het spoor in Nijmegen.

The announced narrowing of the Graafsebrug outbound the city will not take effect as a serious trial has shown that this does not lead to congestion on the Graafseweg, Emperor Karelplein and in the surrounding areas. That is the outcome of a council debate Wednesday in the Nijmegen council about the traffic operation. A board majority also demanded that the test is maintained in a period of time that it is really busy on the Graafseweg. So immediately after the summer festivals, but only in September and also at the beginning of October in rainy weather, as more people get into the car.

Safer
The trial will not begin until the crossings are already adapted to the early Graafseweg, more secure, and if there are smart traffic lights that react more quickly to traffic calming. ,,Only then is a pilot with an artificial narrowing really wise. If we just put a few plates, the test does not work”, said Pepijn Boekhorst, leader of the Greens. He is a big supporter of the narrowing of Graafsebrug outbound the city, from two to one lane for cars. ,,Because that delivers a wider and safer route for cyclists and pedestrians.”

Doubts
However, most of the other groups have serious doubts about the proposed narrowing. They fear the consequences, especially for the Keizer Karel Square. Marc van Nijnatten (PvdA): ,,This square is not a problem for traffic. It always runs well here. Let’s keep that so. If traffic on the square it is established, we have really a huge problem. We should not want to.”

Surprised
Councilor Harriët Tiemens of Traffic was clearly surprised by the great opposition. They pointed out that it is the implementation of a decision already taken in 2011. When the choice is made: through traffic routing via the new city, the crossing and the routes cross only obstruct the city for local traffic. The routes in the city would thereby be enhanced. A large majority of the council announced yesterday that if the test shows that the routes fill up on and around the Graafseweg, the narrowing of the bridge for cars has to be canceled.

0084 – Nijmegen

Centre Nimwegen bottleneck full of annoyances to motorists

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 Road users in Nimwegen disturbed by the many traffic lights in the center, so they often have to stop (too) much. Other major annoyances: the provincial road to Arnheim (N325) and Bankhoef (near Wijchen) are overloaded, so motorists are regularly stuck in traffic. This appears to map from one of the AA report, which members asked the door-to-door delay. 4,000 road users participated in the survey.

Failed
Thursday the traffic organization presented its findings, including a list of the 100 biggest traffic bottlenecks in the Netherlands. The report underlines once more that the green wave – a drive-on zone where motorists do not always stand at a red light – failed in Nimwegen.

Bottleneck
With the arrival of the town bridge “Oversteek”, two years ago, Nimwegen hoped that the flow of traffic in the city would be smoother. Research from the province of Gelderland revealed this summer that the new city bridge barely has a positive effect on the traffic situation in the city. The AA survey Nimwegen is the only place in England where the city emerges as a traffic bottleneck.