"The technical meaning of the term "Rural roads" differs from the meaning ithas for ordinary people. In a technical sense it comprises a whole hierarchyof roads. For ordinary people only the lowest categories are rural roads. Theother ones are highways. The main difference is that rural roads leadthrough the landscape , while highways run alongside the landscape. Ruralroads form an Integral part of the landscape, but highways are a worldapart: they do not adapt to the landscape, the landscape is adapted to them.This difference can be described by a whole series of opposites, e.g. quiet-crowded, natural-artificial, historical-modern, part of the landscape -apart from the landscape. The fact that a rural road is seen as part of thesurrounding landscape has several consequences for its design. Its courseshould be adapted to local terrain characteristics; vegetation along the roadshould not be too dense so as to permit a view on the surroundings and itshould be typical for that region. But rural roads have other properties aswell. They are considered by local people as their territory. They meeteachother there, they greet eachother and they talk with eachother. They donot want these roads to be modernized, i.e. broadened, straightened and as-phalted, because that attracts outsiders, which depersonalizes their commu-nal territory - Furthermore, the new roads are unsafe because people drivetoo fast. As a consequence, they are less used than the old ones; they even canbecome barriers, which diminishes people's life space again. Another func-tion of rural roads Is a recreational one. 1. They give an impression of beingin nature. 2. They give a feeling of freedom, in a double sense: a freedom asan absence of rules and regulations by traffic signs, traffic lights, etc.3.They are quiet. 4. They are often curved which gives a continually chang-ing view of landscape. Designing a rural road to fit these purposes is not dif-ficult. People are satisfied with a bench and a dustbin, i.e. as few provisionsas possible. Concluding, it can be said that modernizing rural roads means agreat loss for people because: 1. There occurs a standardization and normal-ization of roads. 2. A loosening of the road from its context occurs. What wasonce an integrated whole becomes two separate worlds that often do not fittogether. 3. A common territory for village people disappears. 4. The newroads are unsafe. 5. As a result the ties that people have with their environ-ment are severed. 6. According to psychologists motorways have an asocial-Izing effect on people, while rural roads have a socializing effect. 7. Last butnot least, a great source of inspiration for painters is lost. Clearly, thereare opposite interests at stake. Town people, which are 85% of the popula-tion in the Netherlands, want accessibility of the country side while for thepeople in the villages rural roads have many other functions beside trans-portation, collective and individual."