Designing for people by erasing a car friendly past
Utrecht has reconstructed a complicated five-arm junction. While it had been designed to suit the needs of the car for decades, it has now been reconstructed to be a place for people. Traffic can still get through the intersection, but especially motor traffic now needs to behave as a guest in an area that is used by people first.
The Utrecht Adriaen van Ostadelaan and its five-arm intersection looked like a relic from another era. Multiple car lanes and traffic lights were needed to organise the traffic going in the five different directions. Most of the available space in the area was used for motor traffic lanes, a bit for incomplete cycle lanes and the least bit (that was left over) for the many pedestrians in this area. That there are so many pedestrians is because there are a lot of shops and they are in turn there, because this is a residential area that also has a number of schools and an important large hospital. It was very understandable that the city of Utrecht wanted to change this location, so it would be much more in line with current views of city planning.