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Old October 29th, 2014, 03:05 AM   #11621
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Dutch economy is not growing strong, but the retraction is mostly over. Employment is recovering as well.

The issue is that many people are "locked" into their homes, financially speaking, and not many new social housing has come online (construction dried up in 2009-10 so now there aren't many units coming to the market).
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Old October 29th, 2014, 09:16 AM   #11622
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That is over 50% growth. Do you believe these projections?
As others already said, in this particular case they might as well be considered accurate. Almere, the city at the eastern end of the A1/A6 project, is slated to grow to 350k inhabitants from 200k today, and even considering a protected economic malaise there is lots of pent-up demand for housing in the Amsterdam area.

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I work in transport modelling in the UK, and we are required to use the Government's predictions of traffic growth in our models, despite the forecasts being hopelessly wrong in the past, especially in London where traffic hasn't increased for about 20 years now. Many academics don't believe them

http://www.tps.org.uk/main/news/id/0424/x

The Department for Transport had to make a whole page of excuses why their London forecasts were so wrong in their latest forecast publication. They are still showing traffic growth up to 72% on main roads in England between 2010 and 2040, despite traffic plateauing since around 2005, even though the economy was doing well from 2005 to 2008, and again since 2012.

https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...casts-2013.pdf

Are there similar documents in the Netherlands showing their traffic predictions? Is there a debate about whether they are valid or not?
"Even the car as symbol of achieving adulthood has lost its power – the surveys say nowadays it’s how good you are with the Apps on your smartphone and your tablet."

Really? Are these faux-cultural explanations a big driver in traffic forecasting in the UK? And how does the London situation compare to the Netherlands, or the rest of the UK for that matter, since it's very much an outlier wrt scale?

Last edited by Koesj; October 29th, 2014 at 09:31 AM. Reason: typo
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Old October 29th, 2014, 09:27 AM   #11623
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Really? These faux-cultural explanations a big driver in traffic forecasting in the UK? And how does the London situation compare to the Netherlands, or the rest of the UK for that matter, since it's very much an outlier wrt scale?
No, we still use predict-and-provide and are not allowed to factor in any cultural effects. But traffic growth in the UK seemed to stop in the UK around 2005 despite good economic growth in the following few years. There has only been a modest increase in traffic since economic growth resumed a couple of years ago, and per capita road traffic is still falling, as we have had quite a lot of immigration in the last few years.

London is definitely an outlier but I mentioned it because the UK Government has got its forecasts so wrong in London in the past, it casts doubt on whether we can believe in their forecasts now. They are still forecasting growth in London.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 09:49 AM   #11624
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No, we still use predict-and-provide and are not allowed to factor in any cultural effects. But traffic growth in the UK seemed to stop in the UK around 2005 despite good economic growth in the following few years. There has only been a modest increase in traffic since economic growth resumed a couple of years ago, and per capita road traffic is still falling, as we have had quite a lot of immigration in the last few years.
There's an unfortunate break in our national statistics office's dataset on transportation, so I haven't got the whole picture, but road usage in the whole of the Netherlands was at 113% in 2011 compared to 2005's 107% (index=2000, AADT based). Growth was much slower in the Western NL though.

Kilometers travelled by any mode were up by 3,04% in 2013 compared to 2010 - offset by a 1,39% population growth in that same period (you do the per capita math ) - is this comparable to what's going on in the UK?

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London is definitely an outlier but I mentioned it because the UK Government has got its forecasts so wrong in London in the past, it casts doubt on whether we can believe in their forecasts now. They are still forecasting growth in London.
Well it seems to me that these are your own governments' crosses to bear
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Old October 29th, 2014, 11:42 AM   #11625
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A recent study by the governmental 'Kennisinstituut voor Mobiliteit' (KiM) found out there is no evidence for driving being substituted by online activity. Although driving has declined among young adults, this is mainly explained by the lower labor participation rate (and higher education participation rate). Unemployment and specifically underemployment is a major problem for adults below age 27. There is a huge mismatch between studies and job opportunities (too many people have grades in fields not required by the job market).

People are very quickly to see short term changes (such as during a recession) as a long-term trend. Driving alone is increasing and driving overall is at an all-time high over the past 2-3 years.

After all, road capacity requirements are based on overall driving, not 'per-capita driving'. Even if per-capita driving may go down, regional population growth still results in more traffic, thus a need for more highway capacity.

Another factor is the stalled 'upward mobility', both in the labor market, as well as on the housing market. But this won't last forever, this is why cities like Almere will continue to grow as it is designated as a place for major residential developments. Unlike some areas, where developments can go up everywhere one wants, where and how much is build is strictly directed from the government. Which, unfortunately also drives up housing prices, as municipalities acquire the land for development and then sell them at a large profit to developers. In the end it's the resident who pays for that municipal profit. Housing is one of the few major sources of income for municipalities, both property taxes and land development.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 12:44 PM   #11626
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A recent study by the governmental 'Kennisinstituut voor Mobiliteit' (KiM) found out there is no evidence for driving being substituted by online activity. Although driving has declined among young adults, this is mainly explained by the lower labor participation rate (and higher education participation rate). Unemployment and specifically underemployment is a major problem for adults below age 27. There is a huge mismatch between studies and job opportunities (too many people have grades in fields not required by the job market).
Are young people in the Netherlands just as likely to acquire driving licences nowadays than in the past? In some other countries, young people are becoming less likely to learn to drive.

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People are very quickly to see short term changes (such as during a recession) as a long-term trend. Driving alone is increasing and driving overall is at an all-time high over the past 2-3 years.
It would be expected for driving to decrease in a recession, but the growth in driving seems to have slowed or stopped in many countries when there is no recession.

In the Netherlands, there has been a lot of road building in recent years, which might mean that some of the increase can be explained by induced traffic, when the previous conditions were congested. For example, you now have a 10 lane superhighway from Utrecht to Amsterdam, so that might encourage some people who used the train in the past to drive instead, or more people might now consider taking a job in Amsterdam because the driving option is now more realistic.

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Unlike some areas, where developments can go up everywhere one wants, where and how much is build is strictly directed from the government. Which, unfortunately also drives up housing prices, as municipalities acquire the land for development and then sell them at a large profit to developers. In the end it's the resident who pays for that municipal profit. Housing is one of the few major sources of income for municipalities, both property taxes and land development.
Are you saying that you think that the famously regulated development controls in the Netherlands are too strict? The UK has had quite strict development laws for most of the last 50 years, but they were relaxed in the 80s during the Thatcher government, and at that time there was a huge amount of out-of-town and car based development, including huge shopping complexes and business parks near motorway junctions. That only lasted around 10 years and mostly stopped around 1992, but is still blamed for a lot of the traffic problems in the UK.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 12:54 PM   #11627
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Kilometers travelled by any mode were up by 3,04% in 2013 compared to 2010 - offset by a 1,39% population growth in that same period (you do the per capita math ) - is this comparable to what's going on in the UK?
That latest annual report shows motor vehicle traffic, especially cars and taxis, flatlining from 2010 to 2013, despite immigration and the resumption of economic growth around 2011/12.

https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...mates-2013.pdf

There has, however, been a significant growth in rail passengers over quite a long period now, which continued through the recession and is still continuing.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 12:59 PM   #11628
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For example, you now have a 10 lane superhighway from Utrecht to Amsterdam, so that might encourage some people who used the train in the past to drive instead, or more people might now consider taking a job in Amsterdam because the driving option is now more realistic.
There is a very limited modal shift in the Netherlands. This is mainly because public transport is uncompetitive for most car trips. It has been researched that 90% of the car trips take at least 3 times as long with public transport.

Highway capacity is also not a major factor in modal shift, parking availability is a much stronger argument to travel by train than travel times, again because the train is inherently not competitive with most car trips, congested or uncongested. Train travel has its own sizeable market that is largely detached from driving. There is some limited competition, but by far not to the extent often suggested in politics.

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Are you saying that you think that the famously regulated development controls in the Netherlands are too strict?
Housing prices (the median multiple) has increased significantly since the VINEX era. I'm not saying we need uncontrolled sprawl like Belgium or the United States, but housing affordability is a major issue, even after the price correction since 2008. Also, if we had a better (cheaper) supply of land (1995-2008) it still could have featured the Dutch planning style with good cycling and transit.

Also, the term 'affordable housing' is often misused to sell tiny apartments or studios for the price of a regular apartment. Such as cutting space by 50% and reducing the price by 20% or so. That's not what people see as affordable housing.

The current problem on the housing market is not (yet) the supply of land, but the lack of mobility. This has to do with more strict mortgage requirements, still relatively high prices and stagnating economy. The market is 'locked', even if there is an underlying demand.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 01:09 PM   #11629
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A15, Rotterdam

A15 along the southern side of Rotterdam. See De Fotograaf for more photos.

1. Vaanplein interchange (A15/A29)


2. Bike bridge at the Portland rest area
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Old October 29th, 2014, 01:47 PM   #11630
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Housing prices (the median multiple) has increased significantly since the VINEX era. I'm not saying we need uncontrolled sprawl like Belgium or the United States, but housing affordability is a major issue, even after the price correction since 2008. Also, if we had a better (cheaper) supply of land (1995-2008) it still could have featured the Dutch planning style with good cycling and transit.
But why were house prices more affordable before the VINEX era? I thought it was mostly to do with the fact that house buying was not really that important in the Netherlands back then, and people were more or less happy to rent (like Germany), but in more recent years it has become more fashionable to buy your own house (like the UK).

Do the population projections show a continuation of housing shortage? I would have thought that the era of high natural population growth was over, even in the Netherlands, and the population will go down unless there is significant immigration.

(Incidentally, why did the Netherlands have such a high birth rate compared to other western European countries, even after the invention of the contraception pill?)
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Old October 29th, 2014, 02:09 PM   #11631
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That sound barrier next to the Portland rest stop seems completely pointless. There's an earthen wall underneath that bike path right behind it!
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Old October 29th, 2014, 02:14 PM   #11632
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(Incidentally, why did the Netherlands have such a high birth rate compared to other western European countries, even after the invention of the contraception pill?)
IIRC the delay has been attributed, among other things, the 'pillarisation' of 20th century Dutch society (when for example religious leaders held a comparatively large sway over parts of the populace), and the delayed 'final' round of industrialisation - which only really started after the war and postponed the latter stages of the demographic transition in the NL.

However, my good ol' Dutch history handbook is pretty skint on the post-war years so I'll dig some more and see what I can come up with. This applies to your questions on housing policy too btw
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Old October 29th, 2014, 02:17 PM   #11633
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But why were house prices more affordable before the VINEX era? I thought it was mostly to do with the fact that house buying was not really that important in the Netherlands back then, and people were more or less happy to rent (like Germany), but in more recent years it has become more fashionable to buy your own house (like the UK).
That was not the case I think. I know the financial viewpoint: Dutch banks used to be rather conservative in lending. In the 1990s, as the looming implementation of Euro became a certainty, they started pushing more money into the mortgage market, easing credit. You had many people buying homes with interest-only, fixed-for-life mortgages, which turned out to be great deals as prices started to rise, it is like leaving far cheaper than even paying rental.


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Do the population projections show a continuation of housing shortage? I would have thought that the era of high natural population growth was over, even in the Netherlands, and the population will go down unless there is significant immigration.
There is some immigration, but also there is a much more important phenomenon: size of households shrunk dramatically.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 02:36 PM   #11634
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My apartment rent is more expensive than my parents pay in mortgage for a single family house with four times the floor area, plus a sizable yard. It is in the same city. They bought it in 1997.

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That sound barrier next to the Portland rest stop seems completely pointless. There's an earthen wall underneath that bike path right behind it!
That struck me as well. The nearest houses are a good 200 meters behind the earth wall. Further east to the Vaanplein interchange is just an earth wall and no mega barrier. I suspect it may have to do with the Betuwe Freight Railroad, which is right next to A15. There is a combined noise of 12 lanes of motorway, plus the railroad.

The Portland noise barrier is the tallest in the Netherlands. It is 13 meters tall.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 02:38 PM   #11635
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There is some immigration, but also there is a much more important phenomenon: size of households shrunk dramatically.
So converting big houses into flats would help solve this problem.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 02:41 PM   #11636
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My apartment rent is more expensive than my parents pay in mortgage for a single family house with four times the floor area, plus a sizable yard. It is in the same city. They bought it in 1997.
....
My rent's higher than some friends' mortgages (although cheaper than it would cost to buy in this neighborhood). But if I wanted to buy, I'd need a down payment....
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Old October 29th, 2014, 02:43 PM   #11637
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My apartment rent is more expensive than my parents pay in mortgage for a single family house with four times the floor area, plus a sizable yard. It is in the same city. They bought it in 1997.
It should in theory be cheaper to buy a house in the long run, otherwise there would be no point buying a house to rent out. But I suspect the difference is quite large at the moment because of the silly low interest rates. I paid off my mortgage many years ago, but my interest rate went up to over 8% for a while, and my parents were paying up to 15% when they bought their house.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 02:49 PM   #11638
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So converting big houses into flats would help solve this problem.
Average dwelling size isn't that large to begin with, and peoples' expectations have changed as well. Anecdotally, my 60sq m. house was planned 120 years ago to house a whole family, but nowadays couples move out of this street as soon as they get a baby. It's not easily dividable either.

To me it feels like you're trying to 'attack' the Dutch conundrum from a couple of preconceived positions. However, context trumps narrative in this case IMO. Social, economic, demographic, even cultural factors have put us on a road with a high degree of path dependence. And if you'll allow me the strained metaphor, that road needed (and still needs) a lot more capacity to 'get there'.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 02:51 PM   #11639
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A student I supervise was stopped by police. He is from Australia, loves cycling and just went cycling on his bad-ass sport bike on A58 shoulder

He got fined and was complaining just before class started that how unfair it is, that he likes to cycle on roads but can't do that here in Netherlands.

It is not the first time, he got another fine for cycling outside a designated path in Tilburg once as he told me. He considers cycle paths too slow for him.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 03:04 PM   #11640
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What an ass.
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