Following a national call by Nuon to nominate creepy cycling tunnels in the Netherlands for a facelift, the tunnel along the cycling route to the Aetsveld neighbourhood in Weesp received the most votes: with exactly 41,192 votes this tunnel was considered the creepiest in the Netherlands. In collaboration with Nuon, students of the Vechstede College and artist Tikoi Kuitenbrouwer, the municipality gave the Weesp tunnel a makeover. Lightronics supplied the VENTEGO LED luminaires for this project. On 19 April, the tunnel was officially reopened by alderman Tuning of the Municipality of Weesp.
Voters experienced the tunnel as unsafe due to its grey appearance, poor lighting and the length of the underpass. In addition, the tunnel is known as a hang-out for youth and the tunnel's disreputable appearance is reinforced by the graffiti on the walls. Following the voting, Nuon developed an action plan in cooperation with Auguy Pindi, Management and Maintenance Policy Officer with the Municipality of Weesp. The formerly stuccoed and besmeared walls were given a lighter look through white tiling with an anti-graffiti layer. Artist Tikoi Kuitenbrouwer organised a workshop on ‘double exposure photography’ for Vechtstede College Junior General Secondary Education students and together with them created a series of exceptional portraits that give the tunnel a human face.
Naturally, the lighting was also dealt with. Mr Pindi: “The lighting inside the tunnel was obsolete and was still provided by PL lamps. While the light output of these lamps was compliant with minimum requirements, there absolutely was room for improvement in terms of security in a public tunnel.” The municipality already had good experience at other locations with the extremely high impact-resistant Lightronics LED luminaires. The municipality also looked at a similar project in Almere, which had opted for the Lightronics VENTEGO.
For the Weesp project, the lighting’s functionality had the highest priority. “We were looking for a vandalism-proof solution with a clear and uniform light profile. In addition, the lighting of course had to be easy to install and maintain. From the Lightronics lighting plan it became evident that it was not possible to replace the existing luminaires one-on-one to achieve optimal lighting. The tunnel today has six additional light points and eighteen luminaires in total. The result is pleasing: the VENTEGO luminaires are perfectly flat and produce a clear white light with a 6500 lumen light intensity. Together with the bright tiles and the colourful portraits this has worked wonders for the bicycle tunnel’s appearance.”
The VENTEGO is an extremely impact-resistant surface-mounted luminaire that is perfectly suited for vandalism-prone locations. The end-covers, as well as the light cover are inextricably connected to the luminaire. The VENTEGO is suitable for individual mounting, line lighting and corner mounting. The Municipality of Weesp opted for the Remotion Plus Easy Control implementation. “LED in itself is already more energy efficient and requires less maintenance than PL luminaires”, says Pindi. “We will still be installing a dimming regime with a timer this year.”
The tunnel in Weesp is the fourth of five makeovers to be realised by Nuon in the Netherlands. This action is part of the ‘Energy: the potential for making a change’ campaign. With this campaign, the company aims to stimulate positive changes for its customers and society. Research showed that one in five people knows of a poorly lit or run-down bicycle tunnel and is afraid of cycling through such tunnels.