Hector Santiago & Jonathan Zoccoli
- The context of the location with regard to the city
Hobbemaplein is a 6 way intersection with two tram lines going through it. It is located 1.11 kilometers west of the city center. This area is also full with residential areas and businesses. The intersection itself is composed of shops and stores while most streets leading from Hobbemaplein are residential areas.
- The problem that the city planners are faced with
The problem the city planners are faced with is the amount of traffic going through this intersection. While visiting the site we were able to grasp a feel of the street. It is not a friendly area for pedestrians and cyclist since you need to be aware of cars coming from multiple sides and trams coming from multiple directions. In total there are two tram stops and two bus stops in Hobbemaplein.
The municipality’s goal is to improve traffic flow and make the area more attractive for pedestrians and cyclist. This is much needed since the layout of the street is chaotic. In our time visiting the site we saw a bus almost hitting a cyclist. It is a very stressful situation for pedestrians and cyclist. If I live in the Hague I would try my best to take alternative routes to not pass through Hobbemaplein. This shows that currently, the street is not attractive. There is a large number of cars, trams and buses that make the street loud and bike unfriendly.
In regards to the streets leading to Hobbemaplein, three of them don’t have any bike infrastructure. Moreover, they are wide, long asphalt roads that invite drivers to exceed the speed limit. For bikers it is extremely uncomfortable.
- Team’s recommendations
We recommend cutting down traffic to make Hobbemaplein safer and more attractive to cyclist and pedestrians. To achieve this we are making multiple recommendations. The first one is closing off Ruijsdaelstraat and De Vliegerstraat to car traffic. These roads serve residential neighborhoods, but are wrongly used by cars for cut through traffic. By closing the streets we would force traffic to find alternative routes via Hobbemastraat, which makes the same street connections the other two do. The two newly closed streets will have permeable barriers, so bikes and pedestrians can access the area. We also recommend installing advisory bike lanes on Ruijsdaelstraat as a first step, as there is currently no bicycle infrastructure on the street.
Hobbemastraat will become the main road through the intersection on the northern part of the square. This make sense, as the tram follows this road. Also, our observations concluded that most traffic on this side of the intersection was coming through Hobbemastraat already. We are proposing advisory lanes on Hobbemastraat, however, if street parking is removed then safer cycling infrastructure can be added.
Our second recommendation is to fix the protected corner of Heemstraat and Ruijsdaelstraat. Currently bikes and pedestrians are not protected. Our plan is to make a protective island in the corner of the streets like most Dutch intersections currently have. The bike lane on Heemstraat approaching this protected corner will now be moved off street to a one-way protected cycle track. This allows cyclists to be more visible and safer when crossing through the intersection.
Our third recommendation is to reduce the southern side of Hobbemaplein from 2 lanes to 1. This way there could be more space for the sidewalk on the side of the greenspace. Additionally, all roads leading into Hobbemaplein on this side are all one lane, and thus there is no need for increased capacity. The right turn lane at the intersection will be reduced to a right turn pocket.
Another recommendation to change on this side of the intersection is the height of the park. On one side it is tall enough to block the visibility of drivers. By lowering it, drivers can completely view cars and pedestrians on the street, and will encourage slower driving.
For street number 7 on the map above we propose to add advisory lanes since there is no bike infrastructure on this street. When we visited the site and biked through this street to go back to Delft it felt very dangerous and stressful because you are biking on mixed traffic.
Lastly for street number 5 we propose to make it 1 way going away from Hobbemaplein to block cars making an unwanted left turn into the busy intersection. This one way will inly be implemented on the small portion shown in the map. The rest will be left two way.