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Old December 13th, 2012, 08:11 PM   #8621
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Quote:
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It's also not true. For years there has been political discussions about speed limits on the Amsterdam and Rotterdam ring roads for that very reason. They have finally pushed it back up from 80 to 100 km/h again, resulting in another court case pending to bring it back down to 80 due to air quality.
It's a moot point. Post-2006 cars pollute much less than earlier ones manufactured before 1999. As times passes, fleet renewal takes care of getting rid of old much more pollutant cars and that effect, alone, compensates for the minimum benefits or reducing speed limits to 80. That is mainly a "symbolic politics" issue, like to "send a message" cars are not welcomed as primary mobility choice in greater Amsterdam, but useless as pollution control mechanisms to any meaningful era (hint: banning scooters from the Randstad would increase air quality more than a blanket speed limit of 80 anywhere).
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Old December 13th, 2012, 08:40 PM   #8622
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Road_UK View Post
It's also not true. For years there has been political discussions about speed limits on the Amsterdam and Rotterdam ring roads for that very reason. They have finally pushed it back up from 80 to 100 km/h again, resulting in another court case pending to bring it back down to 80 due to air quality.
Politicians don't know anything about air quality. The fact that they challenge the increase in speed limit with the argument of air quality doesn't mean they actually have a valid point. Both locations are below the limits for the two main pollutants PM10 and NO2.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 08:50 PM   #8623
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Both locations are below the limits for the two main pollutants PM10 and NO2.
Yes but limits are established by politicians who, as you said, know nothing about them. What if those limits are set too high?
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Old December 13th, 2012, 08:58 PM   #8624
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These are European norms. Not a single motorway exceeds them, though some locations are just below them, especially for NO2/NOx. You usually read about particle matter in the news, but in fact NOx is more of an issue. Many motorways farther from the sea are substantially below the limits. The limit is 40 g/m for both NO2 and PM10, but most motorways are below 30 g/m and some are below 20 g/m.

The Netherlands made tremendous progress in the past 7 - 8 years to reduce emissions of pollutants. The phasing-out of older vehicles has helped a lot. A couple of years ago about a third of the trucks were below Euro 3 standard, however this has been reduced to only a few percent nowadays. The Austrian ASFiNAG noticed a similar trend with their tolling system which is based om emission classes.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 09:09 PM   #8625
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Thanks, that was interesting.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 09:18 PM   #8626
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Here's some data of the A10 in Amsterdam, which was raised from 80 to 100 km/h.

The limits for NO2 and PM10 are 40 g/m starting 01-01-2015. The scenario is Global Economy (high traffic growth).

Without strict speed enforcement: 34,2 g/m NO2 at 100 km/h and 33,4 g/m at 80 km/h.

However, PM10 is lower because traffic has less influence on it than NO2, namely only 27,0 g/m (again, the limit is 40 g/m).

As you can see, the concentrations of PM10 and NO2 are substantially below the limits along A10-West in Amsterdam. There is no need for the "panic football" of the Amsterdam government about air quality.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 10:27 PM   #8627
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But it goes to show that air quality is very much in the spotlight in the Netherlands.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 10:30 PM   #8628
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A5 Westrandweg, Amsterdam

A 7 kilometer segment of A5 opens tomorrow at 5:00 a.m. near Amsterdam. It's an extension of existing A5 north of A9 to the Amsterdam-Westpoort exit.

A5 has been in the making since the 1970s as a western bypass of Amsterdam, similar to A9. It was originally planned to connect to A7/A8 near Zaandam, including the Hem Tunnel underneath the North Sea Canal. Eventually only the railway tunnel was constructed.

A new plan for A5 was incorporated in the highway plan of 1991, where A5 would end at A10, curving east. A new Coen Tunnel was necessary to handle the additional traffic. By that time the existing 1966 Coen Tunnel was one of the most overloaded motorways in the Netherlands, with 120.000 vehicles per day on 2x2 lanes without shoulders.

A record of decision was taken in 1991, but became invalid in 2001 after 10 years of no progress. An EIS is only valid for 10 years in the Netherlands, it becomes annulled if no construction commences within that period. A design decision was published in 2006 and changed in 2007. The inital final decision was annulled by the Council of State over air quality, but a second one was approved and construction began in 2009. Tomorrow at 5:00 a.m, the first 7 kilometers open to traffic after 3.5 years of construction.

The second and final leg includes the just over 3 kilometer Basisweg Viaduct, the longest road viaduct in the Netherlands. It will open to traffic in early 2013 when the Second Coen Tunnel is ready. However full capacity at the Coen Tunnel will only be available from 2014, when the original tunnel is renovated.


A5 under construction in September 2011. Photo: Rijkswaterstaat Beeldbank
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Old December 14th, 2012, 06:15 PM   #8629
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commuting statistics

The CBS (Central Bureau of Statistics) released some data about commuting today (including commuting to and from school).

The average morning rush hour involves 2.4 million drivers. The average evening rush hour involves 2.8 million drivers. Carpooling is near non-existent, most carpooling are in fact family members driving along, such as children.

People who travel by public transport, travel earlier than motorists. The average rush hour trip by car is under 30 minutes, while the average public transport trip is nearly an hour. In contrast to the road rush hour, the public transport morning rush is busier than the evening rush.

Most public transport trips are in central Netherlands, with 1 out of 10 trips being done by public transport. This is 1 out of 20 trips in other provinces. The car is most used as a percentage of the number of trips, at just over 40% in Limburg and at 30% in Noord-Holland. This does not involve car passengers. The average rush hour car has 1.35 persons.

NOTE: caution should be used when using the number of trips as a basis for the modal split. This tends to exaggerate bicycling and walking and understates car driving and railroading. When expressed in number of trips, the bicycle amounts to over 40% in some provinces, but when expressed in share of kilometers, it's less than 10%, because car and train trips cover much larger distances on average.

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Old December 14th, 2012, 06:22 PM   #8630
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Why the average evening rush hour carries 400k cars more than the morning one? I expected they would be roughly the same...
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Old December 14th, 2012, 06:25 PM   #8631
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There are more non-workers on the road during the evening rush hour. The evening rush hour is also wider (i.e. lasting longer) than the morning rush.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 06:27 PM   #8632
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Quote:
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Why the average evening rush hour carries 400k cars more than the morning one? I expected they would be roughly the same...
It's also the time when people who didn't use the car for their day jobs get on the wheels for other purposes (shopping, visiting relatives, cultural activities etc)
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Old December 14th, 2012, 06:29 PM   #8633
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I thought the statistics excluded non-workers in the first place.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 06:45 PM   #8634
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This is the modal split graph Chris said we should treat with caution. Of course this would be completely different if you would make it per travelled KM. But it is still relevant, because what if all these (short) bike and foot trips would also be done by car - like in many places in the world? Our cities would sure be different.

I think this high modal trip share for bikes/pedestrians is because:
- Many people live and work in the same city in which case the bike is usually the easiest, cheapest and often quickest choice;
- Schools do not provide transportation, so students of all schools make their own trip to school, usually by bike.



EDIT:
Green - car (driver)
Orange - car (passenger)
Blue - public transport
Brown - moped, bicycle and pedestrian
Red - other
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Old December 14th, 2012, 06:52 PM   #8635
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what if all these (short) bike and foot trips would also be done by car - like in many places in the world?
That will never happen. A large share of bicyclists are students either below driving age or unable to afford to buy a car and drive it every day.

It's by far not the case that every single bicycle or walking trip replaces a car trip. As you said, most schools don't provide transportation.

If Dutch schools had American-like school buses to capture 90+ % of the school commute trips, the amount of bicycle trips would be cut in half if not more.

I'm all in favor of cycling (I go to work by bicycle as well), but the effects on reducing car trips should not be exaggerated as is often the case with many pro-cycling advocates. There is no one-on-one relation between bicycle and car trips.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 06:55 PM   #8636
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The downside of these school policies is that the injury rate among school-age children and teens in Netherlands is much higher than those of UK or Germany. Most cycling injuries do not involve any motorized vehicle.

Moreover, parents of children unfit for cycling have usually few options but to drive them to schools, since city transit is usually spotty in terms of coverage outside the major cities. And then something relatively simple like a broken leg becomes a logistical nightmare for parents that have to adjust their schedules to drive their kids, on the spot.

So it's not a very good system as well.

I think medium distance cycling in Netherlands is often used as an excuse to offer less city transit. Short-distance cycling mostly competes with walking. So there is not much overlap between cycling vs. driving, I think. Some, but not much.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 07:47 PM   #8637
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@suburbanist: here we go again. Could you please back your claims with data? There has been a bike safety discussion here recently. No need to repeat that.

Also: In the US 17.000 children end up in the ER annually because of school bus related injuries (link). I guess the world is just full of dangers.

I grew up in Friesland and went to high school in Sneek. Kids came from as far away as 40 km, and there was never an issue with transport. Kids who live 15 km or less away cycle, the rest would just take a bus or train (or a combination of bike + bus/train). No one would ever be dropped off by car (unless perhaps when a parent happened to work close to the school). The phenomenon of dropping kids off at school by car is an urban one.

@Chris: I am not saying that there is a 1:1 relation between cycling and car trips. But especially in cities there are a lot of people who commute by bike, like yourself. This does take a car trip away (compared to for instance how this trip would be made in the US). And it is especially true in inner cities.

The relationship is hard to quantify, and of course there is overlap between biking, walking and public transport, more so than between biking and driving. But it still is a major factor. Our cities would not function in their current form if cycling would not be an option.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 07:50 PM   #8638
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Quote:
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The downside of these school policies is that the injury rate among school-age children and teens in Netherlands is much higher than those of UK or Germany.
Source please. And no vagueness: we'll need something tangible that also relates a higher injury rate to bicycle accidents.
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Old December 15th, 2012, 12:03 PM   #8639
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Electric driving is still in its infancy, a Utrecht press release shows. The most used charging spot in the Netherlands is in Utrecht, where 16.000 kilometers of electric driving was charged during a 7-month period. This comes down to 1 car per day which can drive 75 kilometers.
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Old December 15th, 2012, 01:35 PM   #8640
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Any information on how many charging spots there are in the Netherlands?

Funny thing is, the Netherlands is still by far and away the largest market for electric cars in Europe, the Chevy Volt/Opel Ampera and the Fisker Karma record more sales here than in the rest of Europe combined.
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