One Crossing, Two Bridges: A Ped/Bike System in the Netherlands

This unusual bicycle-pedestrian crossing by NEXT Architects in the Netherlands uses two bridges. A steep bridge helps pedestrians cross quickly.

When architects in Purmerend, the Netherlands, were tasked with designing a pedestrian-bicycle crossing over a river, they had a challenge: if they made the crossing flat enough for bikes or wheelchairs to easily cross, the bridge would have to be very long. So to give pedestrians a quicker route across the river, they decided to build a second bridge that arches dramatically above the bike route.


The taller bridge offers a view of the city, and a reason for people to visit beyond just crossing. Boats can pass under it, and the lower, zigzagging bike bridge splits open to allow boats through. At night, the bridges are lit with LED lights.
The crossing is part of a redevelopment plan in the small town that will better connect the historic city center with a newer neighborhood.

Photos courtesy of NEXT Architects\n