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Desc:Formerly a canal.
Category:News & Politics, Science & Technology
Tags:water, dutch, netherlands
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Comment count is 15
infinite zest - 2016-01-06
A Man A Plan A Canal.. Not Panama. Damn it doesn't work! I'll have to settle for Tacocat.
SolRo - 2016-01-06
Now fill it in and dig it out again!
The Mothership - 2016-01-06
I like how they built the motorway cause they thought motorways were cool, but then immediately hated it. But then because of peer pressure it took them 40 years to go back.
infinite zest - 2016-01-06
Don't give into Big Canal Pressure


baleen - 2016-01-07
There's a needlessly complicated worker placement board game here somewhere.
EvilHomer - 2016-01-07
I think the narrator is brushing over some issues here. Did the people of Utrecht really "embrace the water instantly"? Despite Mr Narrator's assurances, I don't see a lot of enthusiasm coming from the few bystanders actually caught on camera, and I can imagine that if I were a Utrechter, I'd be justifiably pissed at everyone involved.
bawbag - 2016-01-07
You're coming at it from an American perspective though, since the great flood in 1953, the Dutch public have been very pro-public-works as the vast majority of the waterways stop the country going back under the sea.

I live relatively near Utrecht and most folk I know here are incredibly pragmatic about it so I don't honestly doubt the Narrator's take on it, plus with the car free city centres that are so common over here, it really was a near-pointless motorway in the final estimation so you'd be hard-pressed to find much in the way of complaint when they removed it, restoring it to the way it had been for 800 years prior.

EvilHomer - 2016-01-07
Of course it was a near-pointless motorway; it didn't connect to any other major roads and it cost Dutch taxpayers millions! Now they've spent countless millions more turning it back (money which could have otherwise been put to far better use). I'm not saying I'd be pissed about having another canal in the middle of my city again, and I'm aware that having waterways can be a boon to The Netherlands (although it doesn't seem as though this particular stretch of medieval-moat was preventing the sea from reclaiming the entire country). What I'm saying is, it's incredibly wasteful, and it reeks of either incompetence, misappropriation of funds, or both. Surely, those are all things worth getting pissed about?

I think an "American" response (the Big Dig, a similarly mismanaged public works project, prompted decades of muckraking, vicious satire at the expense of the authorities, and even criminal charges) would be perfectly sensible in a case like this. In fact, I'd argue that simply accepting this without complaint would amount to, not "pragmatism", but complacency!

bawbag - 2016-01-07
I do think the focus on the money is very much an American/non-dutch way of looking at the issue and at the root of why public infrastructure projects outside NL seem to get stuck in public consultation/referendum hell a lot. 'WHO'S GOING TO PAY FOR THIS?' isn't as much of a holy war here as it seems to be elsewhere.

It's not viewed as complacent here to remove a useless motorway and regenerate a historic waterway which will then be visited by the locals and tourists (Utrecht is famed even among Dutch cities for its canals), boated on, swam in, cycled past etc. Urban regeneration is well-known even by the extremely stereotypically-thrifty dutch as a great way to improve the living quality of any city and thus enrich the lives of all of them. If their wallets get a little lighter at the start, they know it will pay dividends in the future.

betabox - 2016-01-07
This seems to be a very reasonable way of looking at things, bawbag. I wish anybody here would think like that.

EvilHomer - 2016-01-07
Well, the actually-reasonable pot laws in your country probably help. And given that Bridgeport recently re-elected a mafia mayor who spent the last seven years in prison...

Incidentally, something that's been bothering me all afternoon: what is the preferred term for "a person from Utrecht"? Utrechter? Utrechtite? I don't think we even have a term for people from my own home city.

bawbag - 2016-01-07
Utrechtenaar would be the term, with -naar being 'from' in this context.

bawbag - 2016-01-07
But that term was also very old slang for 'gay' (because of historic religious persecution of 'sodomites' in Utrecht in the 1700s) so depending on who you ask, you can hear Utrechter or Utrechtenaar.

baleen - 2016-01-08


chumbucket - 2016-01-07
Monorail, Utrecht. Monorail.
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