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Old March 7th, 2014, 02:02 PM   #10521
Reivajar
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It is sort off topic, but I am not sure that UK loses for being in the EU.

I am almost sure London is the main financial hub for the Eurozone would be only possible for being within the EU. Otherwise, being out of the EU and out of the Eurozone and keeping that financial center would be too absurd even for the ECB. So, the it is not only about EU budget distribution; but about the free movement of goods, services and capital and other policies linked to the EU.
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Old March 7th, 2014, 02:33 PM   #10522
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But as Switzerland shows, you don't need to be in the EU (or even EFTA) to do that. And they get to make their own trade agreements with other countries, enlarging the market they can access with free movement of goods, services and capital much quicker than the EU which is typically very reluctant to do that (only took 40 years for the UK to get back free trade with Canada as the little Europeans kept blocking proposals for EU-Canada free trade agreements ).

There are alternatives to the European project that give the same, if not better, economic results for countries like the Netherlands and the UK (given, EU figures say that the UK loses economically for being in the EU, on that score it is better off out), without the problems that are why people are sceptical of the EU.
We're not Switzerland. It would be absolutely suicidal for us to switch to a different currency from Germany.

But back on topic: the city of The Hague has begun its planned works on the Neherkade, which is part of the master plan to lessen the burden on the A12 and streamline incoming traffic into the city. The Neherkade will connect to the Rotterdamsebaan and a major bottleneck (the intersection with Leeghwaterplein) needs an upgrade.

It concerns a relatively complicated inner-city intersection with a tram line right next to a canal, which means one of the incoming roads lies on a bridge (for the current situation on Google Maps, click here). The idea is that the main road for through-traffic dives underground as the intersection above is converted into a roundabout.

This month features preparation works. The project should be finished before the end of 2015. Visit the city's website for more information (in Dutch).

The intersection as it is:

Source: denhaag.nl

A rendering of the finished project:

Source: denhaag.nl

For more renderings, click here.

For photos of the preparation works taking place this month, click here.
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Old March 7th, 2014, 02:44 PM   #10523
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In principle, the bilateral agreements are mostly the most fair ones for the contract parties, although engaging in multiple bilateral agreements becomes not so easy, as you e.g. nicely illustrated on the Britain - Canada example.
Multiple bilateral agreements works just fine. The issue isn't multiple agreements, it's that the EU doesn't like multiple agreements. The problem is with the EU.

Britain had free-trade with Canada (and other places) and Europe when just a part of EFTA and it worked fine. The problem is that they cannot make bilateral trade agreements now - the EU took that ability from them and doesn't particularly want to use its ability to make trade agreements with non-European places. Thankfully the recent expansions have made a more outward looking, less protectionist EU, but it still seems like wading through molasses.
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I am almost sure London is the main financial hub for the Eurozone would be only possible for being within the EU.
You mention an issue where the UK government specifically opposed all the other EU countries on a matter that affects London 4 times more than the lot of them put together? London's financial services is an argument against the EU!

London is the world's financial capital. That it is the Eurozone's without being in the Euro ought to suggest that even without being in the EU it would still dominate the financial services industry in Europe. Of course, if it remains in the EU, London's business will go to New York, Hong Kong, etc as the EU seeks to make London less competitive on a global market.
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Otherwise, being out of the EU and out of the Eurozone and keeping that financial center would be too absurd even for the ECB.
The ECB doesn't want London as the financial centre of Europe even now and are using the EU to try and meet that goal. With the UK out, it would be harder for the ECB to punish London for being successful, unless the EU puts tariffs on trade with what will be its biggest customer - which is rather suicidal, don't you think?
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So, the it is not only about EU budget distribution; but about the free movement of goods, services and capital and other policies linked to the EU.
Yes, indeed. In fact, I'll go as far as saying that the budget distribution is a straw man here.

It is about the free movement of goods, services and capital - the EU has restricted the aims of the UK on this, and I'm sure a trading nation like the Netherlands also feels rather hamstrung by protectionist members blocking their desires for free movement of goods, services and capital with places that aren't European. It is about the policies and disagreement with the way things are done.

You are also arguing for the EU using benefits that you don't need to be in the EU to get (free trade), hence my bringing up Switzerland. I could have brought up Iceland - an EFTA member that has a free trade agreement with China.

Anyway, back to Dutch roads.
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Old March 7th, 2014, 04:19 PM   #10524
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We're not Switzerland. It would be absolutely suicidal for us to switch to a different currency from Germany.
I think it's really dangerous to make statements like this. Yes, there are some advantages to the euro, undoubtedly. There are also some disadvantages: the euro has deepened the crisis for a lot of countries. A familymember has a business 10km from the German border so has to deal with cross-border activity every day. He couldn't care less about the euro, says it helps a bit but automatic hedging did essentially the same thing.

Also, I still don't see the economic growth caused by the euro. I don't think we've been doing much better since 2000 than before, to be honest. In that sense, the euro has not helped. Maybe we would've been worse of without it, that's hard to say (though comparing growth rates with other regions and doesn't give that impression).

Once again, I don't think Europe and the EU is a bad thing. It definately helps in keeping close relations with neighbours. However, I think the current implementation is so flawed that I have a hard time convincing myself it's worth it.
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Old March 7th, 2014, 04:49 PM   #10525
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The Dutch guilder had been pegged to the Deutschmark for 35 years preceding the adoption of the Euro, more or less.

Being a net exporter, it would be disastrous for Netherlands in the long run to have an over-appreciated currency, even if in the short turn it would mean people travelling to the Canarias now able to afford the Caribbean.
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Old March 7th, 2014, 05:12 PM   #10526
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
But as Switzerland shows, you don't need to be in the EU (or even EFTA) to do that. And they get to make their own trade agreements with other countries, enlarging the market they can access with free movement of goods, services and capital much quicker than the EU which is typically very reluctant to do that (only took 40 years for the UK to get back free trade with Canada as the little Europeans kept blocking proposals for EU-Canada free trade agreements ).

There are alternatives to the European project that give the same, if not better, economic results for countries like the Netherlands and the UK (given, EU figures say that the UK loses economically for being in the EU, on that score it is better off out), without the problems that are why people are sceptical of the EU.
Sure you don't need a EU for that. But having just free movement of goods, services and capital, (perhaps also workforce), has not symmetric welfare effects. Either amongst the countries, or amongst the populations inside those countries. The motivation doesn't have to be everywhere the same. And the EU might have an leverage in this.

And in the same sense as what you could see with the Swiss, one sided cherry picking is problematic.

In principle, the bilateral agreements are mostly the most fair ones for the contract parties, although engaging in multiple bilateral agreements becomes not so easy, as you e.g. nicely illustrated on the Britain - Canada example.
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Old March 8th, 2014, 03:58 PM   #10527
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N50 Ramspol Bridge

They opened a 1950s viewing tower to the public at Ens. It gives a great view across the Ramspol Bridge.

image hosted on flickr
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Old March 9th, 2014, 03:08 PM   #10528
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A28 IJssel River Bridge, Zwolle

I'm trying out some pano work.

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A28 IJsselbrug Zwolle 2014 1600px by Chriszwolle, on Flickr
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Old March 9th, 2014, 03:13 PM   #10529
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Mill Bridge, Kampen

The Mill Bridge or Molenbrug in Kampen (N764).

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Molenbrug Kampen 2014 by Chriszwolle, on Flickr
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Old March 9th, 2014, 06:45 PM   #10530
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A15, Botlek Bridge, Rotterdam

Today is pano day, apparently. Here's a nice pano of the new Botlek Bridge in Rotterdam.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/marknl/13037373654/
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Old March 10th, 2014, 04:55 PM   #10531
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A6 Almere - Lelystad

A widening has been announced for A6 between Almere and Lelystad. It is planned to widen the motorway from four to six lanes from Almere Buiten-Oost to Lelystad, a distance of 14 kilometers. The widening is projected to cost € 35 million. A new interchange will also be constructed to serve the expanded Lelystad Airport. Construction is planned after the SAA mega project is completed around Almere, which means around 2022. The 2012 AADT was 64,000 vehicles per day.



As you can see there is plenty space for an additional lane, which is also why the cost is low. Dutch widenings usually don't just mean an additional lane, but repaving of the entire roadway, so the whole motorway is spic-and-span after widening, without having pavement of different ages.

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A6-7 by Chriszwolle, on Flickr
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Old March 10th, 2014, 11:12 PM   #10532
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LOL, a sign that says "darned steep bumps".


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Old March 10th, 2014, 11:18 PM   #10533
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Is it real? Or a fake?
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Old March 10th, 2014, 11:29 PM   #10534
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It's actually real! There's another one in the country:


Someone's been watching too much New Kids
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Old March 11th, 2014, 12:17 AM   #10535
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Is the new exit on the A6 directly linked to the development of Lelystad Airport? Because I don't see the airport plans come to proper fruition.
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Old March 11th, 2014, 05:13 AM   #10536
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle;112127488

[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/chriszwolle/7754112740/
image hosted on flickr
[/url]
A6-7 by Chriszwolle, on Flickr
I've never seen a median anywhere near that wide in Europe! Are you sure it isn't Texas?
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Old March 11th, 2014, 05:23 AM   #10537
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I've never seen a median anywhere near that wide in Europe! Are you sure it isn't Texas?
This is a new polder drained in the late 1950s. I think they originally planned to run a railway on its median before they changed plans and built a rail link elsewhere.
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Old March 11th, 2014, 11:22 AM   #10538
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Every time I go there I start to miss trees. I really take them for granted.
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Old March 11th, 2014, 03:44 PM   #10539
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I've never seen a median anywhere near that wide in Europe! Are you sure it isn't Texas?
The Netherlands has a couple of stretches with wide medians.

A37:
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021 by Chriszwolle, on Flickr

A28:
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IMG_1870 by Chriszwolle, on Flickr
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Old March 11th, 2014, 05:31 PM   #10540
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A9 Amstelveen

All parties involved have signed an agreement to change the plan for the A9 widening in Amstelveen (south side of Amsterdam). The motorway will still be widened to 2x4 lanes, but the previously planned tunnel is now definitely scrapped, and will be replaced by a depressed section to cut cost.

Under the previous agreement, the municipality of Amstelveen would fund € 100 million of the tunnel. Most of that money would come from real estate development around the tunnel, but that kind of revenue from real estate is not viable anymore.

The new plan will depress the A9 a bit (it is already partially below grade) and build a short < 250 meter roof on top of it, so to avoid it being an official tunnel (as specified in the tunnel law).

Google Street View:
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