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Last Mile Connectivity - The Lifestyle

By Annie Blissit

Bikes and transit are very much in sync in the Netherlands. One major theme of our trip was that every major city that we visited presented and was very proud of their brand new or under construction additions to their bicycle parking at their train stations – some bike parking increasing by over ten thousand spaces! The Netherlands has an exceptional network of both regional trains and local trams, both of which allow for bicycles with some restrictions. Usually you are not allowed to take your bike on the train during heavy commute times, but when...

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Bikes on a Train (Not really)

By Spencer Maddox

Throughout the past two weeks, it has been easy to get accustomed to the Dutch transit and train network. At train stations in each city, numerous amounts of bike parking exists. Commuters can bike to the station, park their bike, and easily walk up the platform to board a train. The racks are on two levels: the ground and a level above it. The first time parking my bike on the upper level I had some trouble using the mechanism. After a few times parking, I became a master and it was quite easy to use. 

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Cultivating Creativity

By Anna Nord. June 13, 2017

“Your brain gets too comfortable in your everyday surroundings. You need to make it uncomfortable. You need to spend some time in another land, among people that do things differently than you. Travel makes the world look new, and when the world looks new, our brains work harder.” - Austin Kleon

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Houten

By Annie Blissit

Houten is a suburb of Utrecht comprised of ring roads surrounding Houten and its expansion, South Houten. This city represents a more extreme approach to prioritizing the cyclist. Both cities are centered around their respective train station. In fact, when the expansion was proposed in the national plan, Houten refused to begin any development in South Houten until a new train station at its center was built.

Figure 1. Map of Houten and South Houten showing the ring roads and central train corridor

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Houten, an Experiment

Reid Passmore

10/06/2017

In the 70s, Houten was tasked with expanding itself from a town of a couple thousand to tens of thousands in a relatively short amount of time. Urban planner Robert Derks took on this task but wanted to completely reinvent the wheel. By reinvent, he really just wanted to go back to a time when streets were safe and children could be trusted to get to school on their own. So the modern Houten was born.

While a car can go to anywhere in Houten, its infrastructure heavily discourages it. Houten is surrounded by two ring roads in much the same...

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Houten: The most "bicycle friendly" city EVER

By Anna Nord. June 11, 2017. 

Houten is a bicycle and pedestrian planner’s dream.

As a planner and a bike commuter, I fantasize about a city where everything can be accessed by bike. A city where children can safely and independently travel to school and to friends’ houses. A resilient city that is self-sustaining, yet connected to the region by an expansive transit network. Houten is a manifestation of this dream. However, after experiencing it, I’m not sure I could live there.

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Houten

Houten’s approach to their transportation design is that the residents should be able to bike everywhere and if they cannot they can bike to the train.  Each of the neighborhoods have their own network bike network for the necessities like schools and grocery shopping, any area that they would run short errands.  However, they still have the availability to the easy access car routes that perimeter the city.  It is about 2 kilometers to get across Houten so it is an easy commute to get anywhere in the city.  They designed the city to almost completely take cars...

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