Organisation - October 27, 2015

Wageningen: wider Nijenoord Allee

Roelof Kleis

The majority of the city council of Wageningen chooses for the widening of the Nijenoord Allee. But reluctantly, it appeared Monday evening. Now it is up to the province.

That the council chooses for the expansion of the Nijenoord Allee and (the last bit of) the Mansholtlaan to a 2x2 road, is not a surprise. The Wageningen coalition and a large part of the council are strongly opposed to the province’s plan to build a ring road around the campus. Building roads on the North and West side of the Campus would have a big impact on the adjacent nature area Binnenveld. A GroenLinks politician therefore called the choice for the widening of the Nijenoord Allee ‘the lesser of two evils’.

The polical parties VVD and CDA do not agree with the chosen expansion of the Nijenoord Allee. CDA denounces the barrier effect of a wider Nijnoord Allee. ‘It is odd to put a four lane road through Wageningen’, says the CDA party leader Martijn Weenink. The VVD sees the campus ring road as a prelude to a long cherished wish, particularly from business owners, to have a bypass around the whole North and West side of Wageningen.

The widened Nijenoord Allee will also get an “elevated roundabout” by Bornsesteeg. The main traffic will pass under the roundabout; cyclists and local traffic will pass above. This should reduce the delays and dangerous situations caused by the crossing of thousands of cyclists at the traffic lights every working day. A similar “elevated roundabout” will be placed at the main entrance of the campus, on the Mansholtlaan.

Wageningen UR’s wish for a western access of the campus might still come true. Leader of the Stadspartij Rien Bor received the promise of alderman Han ter Maat that the option to allow certain drivers (Wageningen UR staff) to use the bus lane will be discussed.

The Nijenoord Allee plan do not include a bicycle crossing from Hoevestein to Leeuwenborg. A missed opportunity, the Wageningen council thinks. The majority therefore adopted a resolution to replace the current crossing with an elevated crossing. Wageningen UR is then responsible for a continuation of this crossing to the campus.

Wageningen’s preference for the widening of the Nijenoord Allee doesn’t mean it’s going to happen that way. The province has a large say in this matter, because the Mansholtlaan is a provincial road. And therefore, the province pays an important portion of the costs.