By Zoë van den Brink
Two major construction sites interfere with the smooth passage through the local neighborhood but will ensure safe cycling routes and an efficient tramline in the future.
Recently, the already difficult task of leaving the bubble has been made even harder due to the severe construction sites around campus. It does not matter whether you’re by bike or by car, it’s simply going to be a bit of a nightmare. All these traffic nightmares are caused by the transformation of the Prins Hendriklaan into the primary cycling route from the city center to De Uithof. As if that’s not enough, the former bike paths of the Weg tot de Wetenschap are slowly being converted into a tramline.
According to one of the men working on this long process, the new roads will be used to accommodate the ever-ongoing traffic between the center of Utrecht and De Uithof. This transformation has already been going on for a few months and as a consequence has led to a whole lot of confusion and frustration among all the road users.
The cycling route between the city center and De Uithof is one of the busiest streets in The Netherlands. Luckily enough, the municipality is aiming to make this route not only much safer, but also more easily accessible and recognizable for cyclers.
The planned tramline from Utrecht Centraal to De Uithof is scheduled to be finished by 2018. Once construction has been completed the tramline should make the commute for students faster and smoother. While that sounds good in theory, this is not necessarily good for UCU students. The municipality originally came up with the idea for this construction in 2006, but the start of the project took much longer than anticipated, since the necessary finances of more than 320 million euros had not yet been secured. The estimated time of completion is four years and hopefully, if there are no more delays, the first trams should be up and running by 2017.
Despite this promising prospect, locals have raised concerns about the roads that are under construction. For one, the cycling routes are changing continuously, and often without clear indication. So for now, if you do decide to venture out of the bubble, make sure to not get lost in the rubble.