(Photo: Maurice Hetflich)
Spanish bridge bicycle gate. This is the name of the project to make Spanjaardsbrug car-free, in which the municipalities of Leiden and Leiderdorp work together. The year 2025 should be that time. Then the Leidse Ring Noord will also be ready as an alternate motorway.
Plans to designate Spanjaardsbrug exclusively for cyclists, pedestrians and public transport go back a few years, but implementation is now close. This is in parallel with the construction of the Leidse Ring Noord, which should provide through traffic an alternative to driving out of Leiden and Leiderdorp. According to the municipality of Leiden, research shows that eighty percent of car traffic on Spanjaardsbrug in the direction of Leiden is through traffic. In the direction of Laidorp, this percentage is sixty-five percent.
Spanjaardsbrug Lage connects Rijndijk in Leiden with Zijldijk in Leiderdorp. Nearly 10,000 cyclists cross this bridge every day. Many cars and buses also cross the narrow bridge. It was not designed for this and regularly leads to unsafe traffic situations. Freight traffic to and from the De Waard business park also uses the bridge as a shortcut.
Leiden, Leiderdorp and the province of South Holland want to increase road safety for cyclists and pedestrians at this location. Closing Spanjaardsbrug to vehicular traffic and redesigning the road from the Lage Rijndijk-Sumatrastraat junction in Leiden to the Zijldijk-Vlasbaan junction in Leiderdorp creates more space for cyclists, pedestrians and public transport, as well as green space.
Leiden Alderman Ashley North believes that closing Spanjaardsbrug and redesigning the road will not only improve traffic safety, but also improve the quality of life in nearby neighbourhoods. “Since cut off traffic will no longer be possible, the road over Sumatrastraat will become quieter, making the De Waard business park more accessible.”
Chris De Ward spoke to Alderman Ashley North about closing the Spanish Bridge to vehicular traffic. Additionally, Maurice Hetflich spoke with Leiderdorp Alderman Bob Vastenhoud, about what the shutdown means for Leiderdorp.
Due to the closure of Spanjaardsbrug, Zijldijk in Leiderdorp will lose its function of car traffic from Baanderij to Spanjaardsbrug. Zijldijk will therefore become one-way traffic in a northerly direction, in line with the current one-way traffic on Van der Valk Boumanweg. This is the beginning of major changes to the traffic situation in Zijldijk and around Baanderij, says Leiderdorp Alderman Bob Vastenhoud. The long-term plan for the redevelopment of Baanderij is that the road from Spanjaardsbrug to Rietschans no longer runs entirely along Zijl, but follows a turn right at the car wash and finds its way through present-day Baanderij to Rietschans. “From the car wash point, to the connection to the Rietschans, Zijldijk will become a pedestrian walkway and cycle path.” Alderman Västenhude stresses that these plans are still preliminary and have not yet been definitively drawn up.
In the period preceding the framework decision expected to be presented to the Municipal Council next year, work will be done in the coming period on developing a program of requirements and drafting a design draft. To this end, the municipality will enter into discussions with residents and business people in the vicinity of the bridge and the participation platform doemee.leiden.nl will be used.
Wishes, concerns and ideas are collected, among others, about the bridge closure, the design of the Sumatrastraat-Lage Rijndijk junction in Leiden, the design of the Lage Rijndijk junction with Van der Valk Boumanweg in Leiderdorp, and measures to reduce vehicular traffic. turn away.
Spanjaardsbrug will not be closed to car traffic until after the completion of the Engelendaal sub-project on the Leidse Ring Noord. This is expected at the end of 2024. After that, work will begin to close Spanjaardsbrug as soon as possible.
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