Woonerf

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A purpose designed woonerf in east Utrecht
An old little Dutch street turned into a woonerf

A woonerf (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈʋoːn.ɛrf]) is a living street where pedestrians and cyclists have legal priority over motorists as implemented in the Netherlands and in Flanders. Techniques include shared space, traffic calming, and low speed limits. Under Article 44 of the Dutch traffic code, motorised traffic in a woonerf or "recreation area" is restricted to walking pace.[1]

The word literally translates as "living yard".[2]

In the UK these are called home zones. In the USA complete streets are a similar concept where equal priority is given to all modes of transportation including automobiles, bicycles, and pedestrians.

History[edit]

Since the invention of automobiles, cities have been predominantly constructed to accommodate the use of automobiles.[3]

The locality of Hesselterbrink in Emmen, Netherlands was designed as a woonerf in 1970s.[4]

In 1999 the Netherlands had over 6000 woonerven.[5]

In 2006 it was reported that people in Hesselterbrink were disillusioned about how the woonerf principle had become another traffic engineering measure that "entailed precious little more than signs and uniform standards". They have now encompassed the shared space principles as a way of rethinking the woonerf. They are reported to "now know that car drivers should become residents. Eye contact and human interaction are more effective means to achieve and maintain attractive and safe areas than signs and rules".[4]

Today around 2 million Dutch people are living in woonerven.[6] The benefits of the woonerf are promoted by woonERFgoed, a network of professionals and residents. [7]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Road Traffic Signs and Regulations in the Netherlands Ministerie van Verkeer en Waterstaat, June 2006 Accessed (Accessed 07/02/2007)
  2. ^ "Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee - Agenda - Wednesday, January 11, 2012". Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. 11 January 2012. p. 2. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  3. ^ MacPhee, Ian. "Is Vancouver ready for pedestrian priority streets?". re:place Magazine. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Woonerf revisited – The Emmen pilot in Shared Space". Shared Space. 2006. 
  5. ^ Home Zones briefing sheet, Robert Huxford, Proceedings, Institution of Civil Engineers, Transport, 135, 45-46, February, 1999
  6. ^ Sterke woonerfwijken: voorkomen is beter dan herstructureren 
  7. ^ The woonerfgoed network 

External links[edit]