Lindy Molenkamp - Traffic Mangement - 1992 (after that, Economic Geography - Utrecht)

Head of the Roads and Canals Unit with Province Overijssel

What does that entail?

People want to travel quickly, safely, comfortably and well-informed: to their jobs, school, shops, friends and relatives, as tourists, or ‘for no particular reason’. In addition, economic interests are involved in goods transport. Provincial roads and canals often make up the link between the national infrastructure (for long distances) and local facilities. The Roads and Canals Unit (abbreviated as WK unit in Dutch) of the Province of Overijssel manages approximately 650 road kilometres, more than 500 cycleway kilometres, 150 waterway kilometres and more than 300 ‘works of art’ (bridges, locks, viaducts, cycle tunnels).


The WK unit consists of some 175 enthusiastic professionals, and as the head of this unit, I have the honour of providing leadership to them. Together we are responsible for the management and maintenance of the provincial traffic infrastructure of our beautiful Overijssel. This also encompasses construction projects, traffic engineering, ice control measures, and enforcement of rules on the water. The WK unit covers the entire spectrum from policy to implementation.            

What keeps you alert in this job?

My prime motivation is looking after the public interest. The provincial organisation runs on tax money; so citizens deserve an effective and efficient use of this tax money. 

This public interest is best served when employees of the unit make the most of their strengths, enjoy their work, and do what they are good at. The process of people developing themselves is a wonderful thing to see.


The profession comprises many interesting fields, from public transport to traffic engineering, from sustainability to intelligent transport systems, from spatial quality to psychology. One of these topics is traffic safety. Relatively speaking, provincial roads are characterised by a higher rate of traffic accidents: due to the combination of high speeds, non-separated carriageways, intersecting traffic… A promising development is that cars are becoming smarter and safer: our challenge is to integrate this with suitable infrastructural facilities and behaviour influencing.

Advice to students:Take the time to get to know yourself. Find out what you like and what you are good at; more often than not, these things overlap. Try to become the very best at that ….. and drop by some time for a talk at the Province of Overijssel…
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