Darmstadt goes Dutch with DCE cycling expert Stefan Bendiks on November 9th 2018.
As part of the annual ADFC symposium DCE cycling expert Stefan Bendiks from Artgineering was invited to give an inspirational speech about the potential of (Dutch style) cycling in Darmstadt. Recently a citizen’s referendum for better cycling achieved 11.000 signatures in no time. Darmstadt is currently governed by a mayor of the green party and the ADFC is moderating the process between administrations and citizen’s movement. Ideal conditions for a local ‘Verkehrswende’, one could think. Yet, as in many other German cities where a ‘Radentscheid’ was held, the widespread desire for a mobility change strands on resistance against reducing parking spots and discussions about how to deal with car-centric legislations. As a result of which, politicians might get cold feet…
To overcome this impasse Stefan Bendiks presented innovative urban planning solutions from the Netherlands, which could serve as inspiration for cycling in Darmstadt. He showed that it takes innovations and experimentation to make a change, and even more to make that change quickly. A change not only cyclists will profit from, but the city as a whole – and even the motorists, that still have to take the car. Surprise! bicycle-friendly Netherlands is also a great place to be a driver. The bottom-line of the talk was that cycling can improve many aspects of urban life. After all, going Dutch on cycling is not about the bike, but about the quality of our cities.
A summary of the lecture and discussion can be found on the ADFC website.
As a first result, a draft of the possible redesign of an intersection in Darmstadt has been made.