The experiment (where cyclists had priority) was supposed to last until November. And during the emergency debate during a municipal council meeting about the intersection on 4 October, it looked as though the municipality was determined to finish it. Nevertheless, it is ending now.
Before the priority situation at the Eikenlaan and Wilgenpad is reversed, the municipality will be taking extra measures. The speed limit around the intersection will be reduced to thirty kilometres an hour, and temporary speed bumps will be placed. The municipality expects everything to be finished by Wednesday or Thursday.
‘We will be reversing the priority then’, says spokesperson Natascha van ‘t Hooft. Traffic controllers will regulate traffic for the first couple of days.
‘The results of the monitoring came in’, says Van ‘t Hooft. ‘Because the autumn holiday is a quiet week, continuing the experiment wouldn’t have provided any extra information. And it gives us the opportunity to make changes to the intersection.’
Van ‘t Hooft feels the experiment succeeded. ‘It didn’t give us the results we’d hoped for, but it was informative.’ The municipality had hoped that the intersection would become safer for cyclists. ‘And it was safer during rush hour, but the situation actually became more dangerous during the off-peak hours.’
On top of that, cars, public transport, and the ambulance service were heavily delayed during rush hour.
In December, the municipal council will discuss the pilot and what to do with the Eikenlaan. ‘It is our ambition to make the Zernike Smart Route into a fast and safe cycling route, and that hasn’t changed’, traffic alderman Paul de Rook says. ‘But we need a more far-reaching approach if we want something that works in the long term.’ One of the options considered is a bicycle tunnel.