I am Angela and I live in the Netherlands.
I love cycling, the city, stories, photos, people, home-baked cake, collaboration, ...
Today a new and important link has been added to the cycle network of my city, Tilburg (+200.000 inhabitants). It offers a shortcut for 12,000 cyclists and pedestrians a day – making this tunnel one of the busiest cycling connections in the city. It connects the western parts of the city with the city centre and many schoolchildren and commuters will profit from that. The length of the tunnel is 35 metres, passing 6 train tracks. The two way cycle path is 3.5 metre wide and the footpath is 2.5 metre wide.
The cycle network in Tilburg is called a ‘star’ network. The green circle (with arrow pointed at it) is the location of the new tunnel.
The first plans for this extra tunnel under the railway in the west of the city have been made in 1993. At this time the wish for the tunnel was added to the proposed cycle network. Preparations started in 2000 but were delayed because of the high cost. In 2006 the national government launched a program to overcome railways as barriers for cyclists and supported the city with 1.3 million euro. Also the province paid 1.6 million euro. Another 1.1 million has been paid by the city itself making the total cost of the tunnel 4 million euro.
The tunnel has been designed with special attention for social safety. When riding into the tunnel you can see all the way through it and the walls have a smooth slope that is lit at night. It has been build by ProRail.
Our alderman Roel Lauwerier was the first one to cross the tunnel on a tandem, together with Ine Frings of ProRail. And right after the opening the first schoolchildren had already found the new route!