University of Manitoba Engineering Students visit Delft in NL
In (February), Mobycon was pleased to host a group of enthusiastic transportation engineering students from the University of Manitoba’s faculty of Civil Engineering. Traveling from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, the students were introduced to many unique features of the world-class integrated mobility system found in the Netherlands.
The cycling tour of Delft and the surrounding area aimed to give students insight into the history and current state of the bicycle’s role in Dutch culture. Kicking things off by experiencing the 5,000 bike, parking facility at the newly constructed Delft train station, the students were well primed for a day of new and eye-opening experiences.
With their tour guide highlighting the importance of safety in the Dutch approach to mobility, the students were guided through a variety of areas and neighborhoods. No mobility tour of the Netherlands would have been complete without a visit to the infamous Woonerfs. Having been developed in the 1970’s after national protests about road safety, these ‘living streets’ can be easily traced to the origins of the modern concept of shared space. Narrow streets, with little to no delineation between pedestrian, bicycle and car space was something quite unique to the students day-to-day experience in a typical Canadian city.
Following the Woonerfs, students were brought to observe a very different context, the Deflandplein roundabout. Characterized by tram tracks running through the center of the busy roundabout, along with high volumes of bicycle traffic encircling it, the students were able to observe the efficiency and safety of Dutch style integrated mobility. After a leisurely ride along the canals of the historical 16th century city center, the tour finished off with a trip to the rural region bordering Delft. This helped the students experience a way in which people are able to leave the city to explore the scenic landscapes and fresh air of the rural areas.
Winnipeg, like many North American cities, is finding that cycling is playing an increasing role in their mobility systems. Tasked with designing the cities of tomorrow, the students felt that “[the tour] was exactly what we were looking for in a technical tour”. If you may be interested in a similar tour, please check here for more information or contact Elizabeth Allingham.