This self guided tour took us to three distinct neighborhoods in Delft; Binnenhof, Delfgauw’s Emerald, and Oost Tanthof.
Binnenhof – the corridor that stretched from north to south was reminiscent to an U.S. transit oriented development (TOD). However, the difference here is that the width of the corridor is rather large to accommodate the separation of uses (pedestrian, cycle tracks, on-street parallel parking, automobiles, and light rail) at approximately 162ft in width. When contrasting this to typical TOD’s in the States. What happens in the Dutch example is that the scale of the development is not to “human scale”, the development of this space is large and tall creating a canyon. However, because Papsouwselaan street does provide multiple uses and is so wide, the design of the lanes was done in such a way that did attempt to reduce the feeling of being in a canyon. This was done through street trees and vegetation that created buffer zones around each use, thus bringing the scale of the street down to the human level in which one can feel comfortable. When considering the land use and transportation connection; the surrounding land uses (mixed use, but mostly residents) does provide the necessary density to support the light rail and bus systems, and the adjacent cycle tracts provide imitate mobility and accessibility to the community. However, the urban design of the buildings and streets appear purely utilitarian. For an area that supports several multi-family dwellings, there was a lack of public spaces where people can gather and public life could flourish.
Emerald – This development is an “enclosed” neighborhood like many of the neighborhoods in Delft. This community offered multiple cycle tracts into the center of the community. However, after you enter this development the bike lanes disappear leaving the bicyclist on shared streets. This works in the neighborhood as many of the streets offer low speeds and several traffic calming devices – speed humps, painted roundabouts, and some vegetated buffers.
The land use in this neighborhood is characterized by two to three story multi-family dwellings, and nearest the central market is a senior housing complex that provides immediate services and access to to its residents. Biking in the neighborhood was comfortable even considering the fact that we had to travel in a shared lane with cars.
More info on the Development:
Oost Tanthof – is comprise of mainly low-rise multi-family dwellings and is characterized by a central market square. This development appears similar to New Urbanist ideals and concept by creating a compact development where the residents have access to shops and outdoor spaces. However, because this development is so enclosed and isolated from other neighborhoods, the shops that are available are limited thus not meeting the full needs of its residents. From conversations with professors, it appears that many residents leave their community to meet their needs thus creating more trips (both by bike and car).
Although the development is dense, there were a noticeable amount of cars within the neighborhood which suggests that a personal vehicle is still very necessary for many families. With the prospect of continued car use, the development does implement varied traffic calming techniques through the use of bollards and within the physical street design.
The diagram above shows how cars access this neighborhood (diagram and explanation provided by http://sustainabletransportationholland.org/examples/tanthof/ ) “The red road at the north indicates the main road. It is 4 lanes across with high speed traffic. This road is completely blocked off from the Tanthof area. The distributor road is labeled in blue. This is a two lane asphalt road with a speed limit of 50 km/h.” The green roads are considered local, distributor roads. “This is where true traffic calming starts as most of these roads are made with cobblestones and twist and turn to slow traffic. Streets are physically designed to enforce low speeds and be cycle friendly. Finally these roads all branch off to smaller roads that would be considered shared driveways in the United States.”