Conflict over bicycle lane along Aurora

WUR and Mooi Wageningen (Beautiful Wageningen) are at odds with each other over the construction of the new bicycle lane along Aurora.
The bicycle lane cuts through the hedgerow along the Bornsesteeg. Photo: Roelof Kleis

The path between the Bornsesteeg and Dijkgraaf is to take cyclists safely to and from the new education building Aurora. The path, north of the bus lane, prevents cyclists coming from the city from having to cross the bus lane on their way to class or work. However, Mooi Wageningen claims the construction has destroyed part of the hedgerow.  

The hedgerow is located along the Bornsesteeg near Impulse. The path cuts through it. According to Mooi Wageningen, a permit is required because it is protected nature. The issue has been brought to the attention of the Vallei Environmental Services, which has halted the construction of the bicycle lane.

The hedgerows are part of the ecological structure of the campus and may not be tampered with without a permit

Hans Brons Mooi Wageningen

Mooi Wageningen bases its position on the Campus Zoning Plan, says its spokesperson Hans Brons. ‘The plan states that the hedgerows are part of the ecological structure of the campus and may not be tampered with without a permit.’ WUR contests that a permit was needed for this alteration.

According to director of Facilities and Services Peter Booman, no trees were cut down, nor was any deep-rooted vegetation removed. The latter is arbitrary, says Booman. An ecologist of the environmental services analysed the soil and found remains of roots, indicating vegetation. In an effort to move the construction forward, a permit will now be applied for.

In addition to the hedgerow, part of the path along the Dassenbos is also contested. The construction thereof required trees to be cut down, and part of the old soil structure was affected. Mooi Wageningen (in conjunction with Wageningen Goed op Weg) alerted the provincial government. The province rejected an initial plan for replanting elsewhere, says Brons.

Unfinished

Booman denies this and says there is a ‘technical-ecological discussion on the issue, which is sure to be resolved.’ The path itself is not under debate. The link between the new path and the Mondriaanlaan on the west side also awaits a permit. Thus, the path will not be completed before the start of the new academic year.

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