These days the city of Utrecht is the epicentre of roadrace cycling as the city hosts Le Grand Depart of the Tour de France. With Utrecht being the navel of the cycling world, it is amazing to see how much efforts are made to make everything going smooth. Parts of the city were renovated, like the Mariaplaats, where car space was removed to give space for terraces and promenading people. Other parts will have their complete make-over after the Tour, the parcours was a good excuse to temporary remove obstacles and rethink the design of important junctions. Also the Tour itself is a masterpiece of technique and knowledge. When the 198 racers will have their individual time trial over 13,8 kilometers, the differences will be measured on the spot in milliseconds and broadcasted for 3,5 billion spectators in 190 countries all over the world. What a difference when the daily peloton takes over the streets of Utrecht again when the professionals leave the city!
Last autumn we had the first expert meeting to update the existing Dutch guidelines for bicycle infrastructure. The current guidelines date from 2003 and are available as a book and in a digital payed internet environment. There is large demand to the guidelines from abroad, so there is a translation available of the current guidelines. At this moment the release of the new guidelines is foreseen in November 2015. Until now a translation of the new manual is not foreseen.
History of guidelines
Dutch design guides weren’t written out of the blue. We started cycling in the late 1880’s and as bicycles and transport policy evolved, also our guidelines evolved. In the 1920’s the national policy was started to implement cycle paths along national roads outside the build up areas, with precise dimensions for width. In the 1930’s cycling was seen as a serious transport option into the development of new parts of cities, like Amsterdam-West. Continue reading
Last week the Danes held their National Cycling Conference. Not in Copenhagen, but in Randers, the town that was announced the cycle city of the year. I was invited as a keynote speaker, to deliver some insights about cycling in the Netherlands. The Danes took full advantage of me, by putting me 3 times in the program. A pleasure for me, as I like Denmark and the Danes and I want to continue our friendly battle being the best cycling countries in the world. Continue reading