Summary

PDFE-mailadres

The Churchill Avenue project is primarily aimed at solving a long existing traffic congestion problem in the central western part of Holland. In this densely populated area lies the university town of Leiden, which in turn is part of a metropolitan superstructure called the Randstad. The cause of the congestion is that the town and the surrounding region lack a good East-West connection. This is a big obstacle for economic growth of the region. For more than 50 (!) years the government is trying to solve this problem. Because of the lack of solutions in due course the traffic situation has gradually deteriorated, both on a regional scale and within the city. One now can see frequently traffic jam situations which grow into total block situations during rush hours. Rendering the City of Leiden and its university buildings inaccessible.

A new project to finally solve this problem is started up bij the province of South-Holland about three  years ago. This project is called the ' Rijnlandroute '. The initial plan was to carry out an old, long existing proposal to construct a new road outside the city of Leiden. The projected route is aimed to interconnect the highways A4 en A44 and is called the N11-West. This proposal has been long considered to be the only solution. The proposed trajectory, however, implies a great many difficulties. One major problem is that the projected road runs straight through the urban area of Voorschoten, dividing the community in halfs. Many buildings and a local neighbourhood need to be demolished, and a monumental real estate will loose its value.

Another problem is that the road partly passes through an area where solid underground is lacking. Near the so-called area of the Vlietlanden it runs through a former Marsh land, where subsurface conditions cause road and tunnel construction to become very costly. This causes a great financial risk and the chance of running out of budget during construction. Estimated costs are already very high: around 950 million euro's.

The municipality of Voorschoten opposes strongly against the plan and claims that for the next decades actually no new road isn't needed, should proper adjustments be made to the current junxions and bridges. The province however can't agree with this view and claims that in due course the current road becomes to busy to handle all of the growing traffic. This especially because many new regional sites will be developed for building houses and factories. 

Another drawback to the proposed trajectory is that it runs straight through the last green pastures around Leiden en Voorschoten, where many wildlife is present, for instance meadow birds like the black tailed godwit, the grey heron and the white stork. The natural landscape around Leiden is valued highly by the community for its variety in nature, also containing windmills and ancient waterways. During wintertime these waterways are favorite skating routes and in summertime used for canoeing. If the road would be constructed right through this valuable landscape, not only a special bird resort willl be damaged, but also a green meadow area is destroyed, that interconnects various valuable landscapes. Many citizins consider the trajectory proposed by the province a very unattractive and unsustainable proposition.

A group of citizins, called Team Churchill Avenue, has come up with an original alternative. It is a grassroots initiative: it hasn't originated from a planning agency or an engineering company, but was right from the beginning conceived by a small group of inventive citizens. Their main solution is to re-engineer and transform the existing road that runs through Leiden. To completely avoid hindrance the throughgoing road wil run through a tunnel, running only a few meters below subsurface. The introduction of a tunnel of 3,2 km length through Leiden solves two major traffic problems at once. The tunnel adds capacity for both the regional and local traffic. Calculations show that in future 3/4 of the traffic will take the underground route, so traffic congestion will be lifted completely and environmental pressure on the city population will be radically abolished.  

The regional traffic on this road will be able to maintain an average 70 km/hour speed, since it is not hampered by local traffic. To allow drivers to switch between the city ring and the regional road a clever weaving zone in the tunnel is introduced. With this straightforward plan all current congestion points are lifted in a very short time span, causing the economy to revive in a short period.

And these aren't even all of the benefits. The Churchill Avenue concept is an holistic approach that takes into account the construction of various attractive sustainable buildings in the city. They can be constructed alongside or over the tunnel route. Also the plan implies the possibility of greatly improving the benefits of public transportation. And it consists of a plan for reviving and reconnecting the natural landscapes around Leiden. Many, many creative plans to enhance city life are likely to follow. For instance a plan for a new sport facilities, a skating oval, can be created and connected to the hotel and university area. In this way an enlarged Campus area is created.

The Churchill Avenue team run their project as an open source project. Everyone with creative ideas, that can enhance the design of our future road, is invited to forward their ideas. We will always respond to your proposal.  

Currently the support for the Churchill Avenue plan is still growing rapidly. Many politicians who were distant at first, now recognize and acknowledge the ferm base and structural benefits of this solution. Especially considering that should the alternative N11-West plan (now called Zoeken naar Balans) be realized, after already 5 (!) years heavy pressure of city traffic will reoccur on the roads in Leiden. Should this be the case than a plan costing more than 900 million euro’s, will yield the result that it's net effect will be evaporated in no less than 5 years! However when the tunnel solution of the Churchill Avenue plan is chosen and constructed, at nearly the same construction cost, a spectacular improvement of the city will be realised. And this will be a lasting improvement. Especially environmental aspects like the quality of life and the health of the population will greatly improve.

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