On two occasions in May 2017 we had the opportunity to present our ongoing work on cycling and virtual reality. Alex Erath was invited to the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds and presented Bike to the Future (slides here). Me and Alex presented our previous and current work on Bike to Future for the Allegro research group (slides here). The Allegro project covers five years of research with a group of approximately of 10 people under the lead of prof. Serge Hoogendoorn, and is collaboration between the Delft University of Technology and the AMS Institute. The group aims to develop new theories and models for the behaviour of pedestrians and cyclists in cities, using state-of-the-art data collection techniques. At both occasions, it was great to discuss the challenges involving the surveying and modelling of cyclists’ preferences and behaviour.
This being the first time for me to visit Delft since the 2014 WSTLUR conference, two changes to the city and university campus were great to witness in person.
First, the main street running through the university has been transformed from a two-lane road, dubbed Mekelweg with parking alongside it into the Mekelpark. The picture below (courtesy Mecanoo Architects) shows the park. It being spring when we visited Delft, the park was pleasant to stroll through and most certainly provided the impression of a well-connected university campus, whereas the parking lots and roads left a much more segregated experience.
Second, the introduction tunnel replacing the rail viaduct cutting through the centre has led to the introduction of new underground the train station (fortunately, the old station has been kept). The train station, again designed by Mecanoo Architects, is a great example of the integration of different modes of transport. On grade level, there is the bus terminal as well as the main entrance to the station. It gets much more interesting below grade. The bicycle parking has a direct entrance to the train station. When leaving or entering the train station via the bicycle parking you ‘check in’ to the public transport system using the national public transport smart card. One level further down the platform can be found, which due to the lack of pillars provide a spacious experience as compared to other underground train stations I visited.