The Groene Loper creates calm and open spaces. It is an entirely new area in Maastricht, which is easy to recognize thanks to the wide avenue featuring trees on either side and which offers cyclists, walkers, and joggers calm and open spaces.
It’s hard to imagine now: the A2, the only motorway between Amsterdam and Genoa with traffic lights (six in total!), splitting Maastricht in two since the 1960s. The Koning Willem-Alexandertunnel opened in 2018, putting an end to the constant traffic jams, sound pollution, and vehicles fumes for local residents. In place of the road used by 45,000 cars and lorries every day, you can now find the ‘Groene Loper’: a spacious, peaceful boulevard for cyclists, walkers, and joggers.
The ‘Groene Loper’ project is set to be completed in 2026. For residents, it symbolizes a transition from a concrete past to a green future. In addition to wide pavements, a central, semi-paved bicycle and pedestrian promenade is flanked by two narrow lanes for cars. Most of the old flats along the former A2 have been or are in the process of being demolished. In their place will be new, sustainable homes equipped with smart wind and solar energy technology.
Many say that rerouting the motorway underground has removed a barrier that once cut the city in two. Some romantically describe it as the ‘East Berlin effect’. One third of Maastricht’s 120,000 residents live east of De Groene Loper and never visit the area. This is changing as a number of fantastic restaurants and cafés have started to spring up.