Riding a bike through a tunnel can be a pleasant experience, too, if the design is there, Source: Amsterdam Municipality

How do we make Amsterdam’s bike tunnels less scary?

How do we make Amsterdam’s bike tunnels less scary?

It involves all the five senses, apparently

We know it, you know it – Amsterdam is obsessed with bicycles and all things cycling-related. So, it comes as no surprise that there would be an annual competition that seeks to further new solutions in that sphere of life. It’s called Bicycle Innovation Lab and it’s organized by the Amsterdam Bike City Innovation Lab (ABC) cycling platform.

Today, the event crowned its winner – an initiative by the name of “Tunnelvisionair” by Mobility Expert Bureau Goudappel. That organization suggested that something needs to be done about some of the city’s cycling tunnels, which are perceived by the public as somewhat scary, drab and sinister.

More specifically, the organization is proposing to make the tunnels more aesthetically pleasing and attractive. In a sense, that idea itself is nothing new and has already been implemented in other tunnels in the city, but what’s different this time around is that the tunnels should be designed in a way that appeals to and speaks to all five human senses, as the proposal goes.

Making cycling safer and more pleasant

The jury is enthusiastic because the idea is considered unique. Together with experts, Goudappel wants to select the 5 scariest tunnels in Amsterdam and then refurbish them. 

The idea is to do this with the help of Amsterdammers, via social media and with the help of a local television channel (possibly turning this into a show or a documentary). The adjustments in the tunnels must work on all the senses. Think of music, lighting and even aromas.

The “Tunnelvisionair” wants cyclists to instill a positive feeling in the bicycle tunnels. When they feel safe to be in, then cycling will become nicer and more fun. And lone riders won’t have to make fake phone calls or speed through in order to feel safer when crossing them.

'Put cyclists in the green spotlight' is the name of the second-best project in the competition. This idea is about traffic lights that are adjusted twice a year so that cyclists have more crossing time. For example, on the days when schools start again.

The City of Amsterdam and the Transport Region authority will discuss the plans with the project contributors. If they are good and feasible, they will each receive a budget of 15,000 euros each, to develop their ideas.



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