September 2011 – Unfortunately, the citizen’s comments (the so-called zienswijzen) submitted on behalf of the A&W district both in separate and collective opinion papers have been completely ignored during the recent City Council discussions on the Mobility Bill and it was passed without any amendments.
The A&W’s response to the proposed bill
16 January 2011
The traffic issue has been a hot topic in our city since the 1970s, with the one solution (the Utrechtse baan, the Prins Bernhardviaduct, the Koningstunnel alongside Central Station, the extension to the Landscheidingsweg and most recently the Hubertustunnel, quickly followed by the introduction of the Traffic Circulation Plan – VCP) proving more successful than the other. Some were even so unfortunate, there were attempts to reverse them (partial demolition of the Bernhardviaduct). The opposition to the VCP was huge as it was clearly just shoving problems from the one district to the other.
The problems will only get worse because the amount of motor traffic continues to grow: council plans are aimed at increasing the number of inhabitants, car ownership per household will grow and according to council estimates traffic will increase by 30 to 35 % over the next ten years.
The burning question now is whether the present road system can cope with the increase in the amount of traffic without compromising the quality of life in residential neighbourhoods. In our opinion it cannot.
At the beginning of November 2010 the Municipal Executive set out the Haagse Nota Mobiliteit (The Hague Mobility Bill) and released it for public discussion. Citizens’ comments (the so-called zienswijzen) had to be submitted by 24 December 2010. The most was made of this opportunity, resulting in the submission of negative to extremely critical opinions.
Various residents associations have consulted with one another and submitted a collective opinion. In their view the council is heading in the wrong direction. If you were to draw a line on a map of The Hague from north to south through the Hofvijver, you would see that 2/3 of The Hague’s population lives to the left of the line and 1/3 to the right. The major feeder routes (Utrechtse baan, N14 and A44) are located to the right and the Rotterdamse baan(costing hundreds of millions) planned by the council would also be on this side of the line. This means that the lion’s share of the traffic will be funnelled through the centre of The Hague and adjacent residential districts. There is another way!
The location of our city on the coast makes a ring road system (to be found in most other large cities) impossible. The only other solution is the excavation of a tunnel from Madurodam to Kijkduin. A solution that would cost less money than the council’s estimates for the execution of its own plans!
The collective opinion (in Dutch) and another with more tailored comments specific to our neighbourhood can be found below.
16 January 2011
Wybe Taekema, chairman
Collective opinion (in Dutch)