Interview with Peter van Wijk: ‘Signs of the times’ at Schiphol

There are new driving routes and signs all over Schiphol. Between 31 September-1 October 2017, Wayfinding Project Manager Peter van Wijk was on hand during the ‘Night of 1001 signs’. He looks back on that night with satisfaction.

projectmanager Peter van Wijk

Everything went according to plan

It took half a year to prepare – and 5 teams braved the weather on Saturday night to put up the new signs. Peter was involved as the Project Manager, and he said “Everything went according to plan. We wanted to finish the signs by 05:00, and open the new car parks and roads after hours. With some improvisation here and there, we completed the job well before that time”.

Compassion for drivers on the ‘Night of 1001 signs’

Peter also rolled up his sleeves and got involved. "I have been involved in the preparations for a long time, so I enjoyed the night. For example, I helped to remove foils from the plates that were already hanging”. Although Peter was very pleased with the results, there were also a few setbacks. “One of those setbacks was that a traffic jam arose because the Schiphol Tunnel was closed at Rijkswaterstaat. That’s anything but convenient for drivers. Suddenly, we were confronted with a stream of motorists who actually had to go to Amsterdam. That situation caused some chaos”.

Getting used to the new way

Next week will be exciting for Peter. "We're still evaluating here and there, and some adjustments to the signs will probably be needed. But not just yet. First, travellers need to get used to the new situation. There will be some peace and quiet for now”.

New car parks and routes

Earlier, Peter also mentioned the preparations - and how it was inconvenient that everything could not be tested beforehand. "Things like the signs above the road indicating the number of free parking spaces in car parks," he said. "We were able to test the digital displays at the factory, but we didn’t know for sure that they were working until everything was installed on the street. Fortunately, everything went well. "Now, it’s about dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s”.