Nijmegen; Cycling City of the Netherlands!

Nijmegen; Cycling City of the Netherlands!


This is the city of Nijmegen
on the river Waal. It is one of the 5 finalists to become “Cycling
City of the Netherlands” in 2016. Many people enjoy cycling in this city
of 172,000 people. A city which is
far from flat. Some of the outskirts
are in a hillier terrain, but also in the city centre people sometimes
rather push their bicycles than ride them. Nijmegen is proud of what it has achieved
in 15 years of forward cycling policies. In this time it has been able to build half of the
desired high quality fast cycle route network. These routes are 4 metres wide and have a surface of red asphalt
to indicate priority. Nijmegen also has good roundabouts,
naturally with priority for cycling as well. Even crossings with car routes
sometimes have priority, when the cycle route is considered more important
than the route for motor traffic. Grade separated crossings
are always preferred, though. Details have to be right as well.
The city uses as few bollards as possible. Nijmegen was severely damaged in World War II,
but it was restored well. In all but two of the car free city centre streets
you are allowed to cycle. Buses also use some of these streets,
that were clearly not designed for large vehicles. It makes bus drivers careful
and the buses not so intrusive. There is ample space to park
your bicycle to go shopping. but the number of parking spaces
will be increased even further. High numbers of parking spaces already exist
around the main railway station. In several facilities, both outdoors and indoors,
a total of 10,000 bicycles can be parked. Main cycle routes come
in many different shapes. One of which is the cycle street
where cars are guest. The surface is always red asphalt,
so drivers know that cycling has priority. When a route has turns, you can always follow
this red carpet and easily find your way. In the top 5 of what
Nijmegen is most proud of the cycle bridge over the river Waal
is number 1. Which is not very surprising. In second place comes the cycle route to the
university campus Heyendaal. This is indeed a route to be proud of, but the same
can be said of the campus area itself. In third place the city mentions the bicycle
parking facility right next to the main railway station. It is still a bit underused,
but indeed of a high quality. Fourth is a tunnel in the main cycle route
to Arnhem. The Eisenhowertunnel has set a new standard
for the rest of the city. Tunnels should be high enough
and have receding walls, to make them spacious and light, which increases
the feeling of social safety. Children took care of the art on the walls
of this particular tunnel. In fifth place Nijmegen is proud of the bright
green cycle viaduct “Het groentje” which provides a safe passage over a busy
main road for a lot of cycling school children There is always room for improvement. Nijmegen wants to decrease
waiting times at traffic lights. Older routes should get
better surfaces. Such reconstructions are already taking place
at some locations, where older concrete slabs
are being replaced by smooth asphalt Finally, Nijmegen wants to further improve
its bicycle parking facilities. Cycling in Nijmegen
is really great. Mainly because most of the cycling infrastructure
meets the highest standards. And yet the city wants to constantly
improve the conditions even further. This makes it a great contestant
in the competition. I would not be surprised
if Nijmegen would indeed become “Cycling City of the Netherlands”
in 2016!