Desire lines made in asphalt

The University of Utrecht had build new a office for the faculties of Science, Geosciences and Biomedical Sciences. The building was named after the prominent biologist Victor J. Koningsberger and has three lecture halls, offices, a cantina and an underlying garage (on street level) for 1,650 bicycles. More pictures of the building itself can be found at the website of the architects Ector Hoogstad.

Main cycleway to the University

Main cycleway to the University, sign shows the new bike garage

As a building site at the ever growing university complex isn’t special, it was the outdoor zone that attracted my attention. The campus was planned in the 1950s and is known by it’s grid structure and it’s straight lines. See for more history this nice blogpost of Mark Wagenbuur. But the entrance paths to the new bicycle garage set new standards for real curvy lines at the campus!

New cycleways follow the widest curves possible

New cycleways follow the widest curves possible (picture by University Utrecht)

The new cycleway is 3,5 meters wide to make bidirectional two-abreast possible. The path connects the existing route to the new garage through the park. Trees were chopped down to make the route smooth and the curves as wide as possible. Wow! That makes cycling comfortable. A good excuse to test my new actioncam to give you an impression.

Of course, as a perfectionist, I always see minor details in the design that could be improved. In this case radius of the junction at the existing cycleway could be widened and the center line of the new path doesn’t follow the desired line. Or is this a feature for the scattered scientist who decided to change his mind during his lingering ride on these beautiful paths?

Junction at the existing cycleway

Junction at the existing cycleway, radius on the right and the center line could be widened.

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4 thoughts on “Desire lines made in asphalt

    • No, maybe also an omission. But I can imagine this footpath is not used by disabled pedestrians, not a route between busstops and destinations, and too far from the city to walk to the University. i guess this path is used by lunch walkers.

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    • The original bicycle parking was in front, under the Minnaert building, so also shielded from rain. Come to think of it, most cycle parking at the university campus is indoors, or at least covered.

      Liked by 1 person

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