ThinkBike Workshop in Finland
Last week, the Dutch Cycling Embassy organized a ThinkBike Workshop in Espoo, Finland.
Herbert Tiemens of the Province of Utrecht, Rico Andriesse of Goudappel Coffeng and Maurits Lopes Cardozo of Bike-Minded travelled to Espoo to share their knowledge and expertise as Dutch Cycling Experts.
The main goals of the workshops were to give insight in the way we work in the Netherlands on bicycle infrastructure projects, how we design for bicycles, how we gain (political) commitment and how we make cycling attractive. Following this Dutch perspective, current street and traffic plans for upgrading the cycling infrastructure in two important areas of the City of Espoo were assessed and suggestions were given with regard to these plans.
The ThinkBike Workshop started on April 5th with a cycling tour together with two officials of the City of Espoo which, among other places, led along the areas which are currently in the planning process of being redesigned. During this tour, the main planning issues were discussed.
During the second day, April 6th, officials of many departments of the City of Espoo, such as City Planning, Public Works and Environment Centre joined for the workshop. The meeting was kicked off with a welcome from the Vice Chairman of the Council, Ms. Sirpa Hertell and the Dutch Ambassador, Mr. Bansema. After this, Herbert Tiemens gave a presentation on cycling in The Netherlands in the broad context and some of the history. This was followed by a presentation on Dutch Network Planning and Design and its requirements for good bicycle infrastructure by Maurits Lopes Cardozo and Rico Andriesse.
After the lunch break, the outline of the workshop was briefly described and two different groups worked separately on two cases of ongoing projects in Espoo under supervision of the Dutch Cycling Experts. The first case concerned the area around the train station of Espoo, where a lot of different modes of transport come together. The second case aimed at an area where a new metro station is about to be opened. The walking/cycling route leading from this metro station passes a school area. This results in challenges with regard to how to design a fast and safe route.
The workshop resulted in a number of insights which were presented publically to a broader audience, for example with politicians. First a brief wrap-up of the morning presentations was given in order to provide some background to people who just joined. After that the findings per group were presented and discussed. The newly generated ideas mainly reflected the idea of designing for people, with traffic calming measures in the station area, and an alternative route in the school area.