Cycling for Everyone
Cycling for Everyone

DCE Hosts Delegation from Waterford, Ireland for a Study Tour of Utrecht and Ede

3 May 2023

On Monday April 24th, the DCE was pleased to welcome a group from Waterford, Ireland for a two-day study visit. Made up of elected council members and employees from their active mobility office, the group was interested in experiencing Dutch cycling infrastructure and gaining inspiration for their efforts to expand cycling ridership and improve road safety at home.

Emma Stubbe kicked off their visit with a brief introduction at the DCE office. Dick van Veen followed up with an informative presentation on innovative street designs and how to develop a road network that is friendly for cyclists and pedestrians (and even cars). One important takeaway from the session’s discussions was that Dutch and Irish motorists are not so different; they will take any opportunity they get to speed! Dick emphasized that the real solution is to design streets in a way that prevents cars from driving too fast. Jocelyn Kemker from triple Joy concluded Monday’s presentations with a few words on the importance of behavioral change when promoting cycling.

After lunch near Utrecht central station, the group embarked on a 2-hour cycling tour around Utrecht. The Dafne Schippersbrug and the neighborhood bike parking facilities were of particular interest to the group. Several stops gave way to lively discussions amongst the delegates on how the infrastructure they were experiencing could be used at home. Dick and Jocelyn happily answered the group’s questions along the way.

The second day began with the group meeting Margot Daris from the DCE and Joost Toxopeus and Lotte Rijsman from Royal Haskoning DHV at the Ede-Wageningen train station. There, they collected their rental bikes and headed to the Kazernloft, a beautifully renovated former military base in Ede. Joost and Lotte gave a detailed presentation on the different stages and components of developing a cycling network both in towns and in more rural areas. The delegates had many questions about how they could apply these lessons to their home context, to which Joost and Lotte enthusiastically answered. After a discussion filled lunch, the group departed for a tour of Ede and Wageningen. On the tour, Joost showed the delegates some of the roundabouts he had designed personally, explaining safety considerations and the processes involved in constructing them. Following a brief stop for some ice cream in the sun, the last stop was a school street which was of particular interest as the group is interested in learning how they can make their school areas safer for children.

At the end of the second afternoon, several delegates commented on the impact of the experience in terms of cycling knowledge and in developing connections amongst the group. As such, they hope to take other members of the council on a similar trip in the near future!

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