Mobycon looks into traffic and parking in downtown Baarn
Downtown Baarn, 30 minutes south of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, is seeing a decline in shopping. To counter this, the town is taking a leap forward towards more quality in public space. After all, as Dutch research proves, the quality of public space is one of the most important reasons for people to visit a shopping area, even more so than accessibility or easy parking.
Currently the car is allowed on several segments of the Laanstraat, the main shopping street. Several cut-throughs provide easy and quick access through the downtown area, even though these cars are hindering the shopping experience and require more traffic oriented street design on these spots.
The town of Baarn asked Mobycon to investigate the effects of closing these cut-throughs. Our study shows there are only minor effects to the overall network. Closing the cut-throughs and transforming them into pleasant public spaces will lead to longer travel times for a few car trips, but this volume is relatively low and the trip length increase reasonable. Moreover, the surrounding road network could easily absorb this extra volume without causing major traffic problems. Mobycon does advise to emphasize the existing road system encircling the downtown area in design and signage, creating a divider belt around the shopping area.
"Mobycon’s study gives us the confidence to continue with the desired closure of the Laanstraat for car traffic. With their input, we can continue designing an optimal shopping street; we can create a successful public space in the Laanstraat".
Albert van ’t Riet, project leader at the City Planning department of the town of Baarn:
If you want to know more about this project, contact Dick van Veen
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