Coolsingel (new design)
The Coolsingel is known as the central traffic artery of Rotterdam. It has always divided the city centre, but now the new design aims to make the Coolsingel a wide and open boulevard that connects everything and everyone.
The Coolsingel lays in the heart of the shopping and dining district with the monumental city hall and the adjacent plaza in the middle. Most of the buildings along the Coolsingel, that were rebuilt after the bombings of world war II, now house large retail chains.
The Coolsingel has both an important function in the city’s traffic network as well as an important function as a place to reside. A design where all functions are integrated is essential here. It is also a gathering point for celebrations and activities. For example, the championship parties for Feyenoord and the start and finish of the Rotterdam marathon take place here.
Despite the fact that a design with three traffic domains is possible, the maximum number of four domains is chosen in the new design. This separation ensures that the number of unregulated conflicts between different categories of vehicles is reduced. Where pedestrians, cyclists, cars and trams have all gotten their own bit of public space, the LMVs and trucks join the car domain.
The speed regime of 50 km/h suits both the current function of the roadway and the separation of the multiple domains. The need for loading and unloading spots is low as many shops and businesses are supplied via the rear entrance. This presents opportunities for (cargo) bicycle couriers, who can park their bike on the footpath, in front of the entrance.
It appears, from the scoring of the quality aspects of Functional Ambiance, that the quality of the new design is very high. All the individual aspects score high. The only exceptions are weaving and criss-cross, since the separation through the domains prevents weaving and the designated crossings prevent criss-cross behaviour.
The quality of the pedestrian domain is striking. The quality is raised to a new level by planting 80 new trees (after removing 40 trees), by adding small green parks, by the introduction of an iconic lighting plan, by the use of warm natural stone pavement and by adding various art projects in the public space. Adding multifunctional use of space here is unnecessary, because of the presence of other supply options.