Last week, DCE organised a study visit for a delegation from Delaware Department of Transport. On Thursday 19 April a study visit including an expert presentation and a cycling tour in Utrecht and Houten was facilitated, and on Friday 20 April the delagation was welcomed in Nijmegen.
On Thursday 19th of April, Eric van Dijk of the Province of Utrecht and Paul Moser of Delaware DOT met at the House of Province of Utrecht for an interactive meeting in which many topics were discussed. Especially cycling infrastructure policy, zoning and examples of successful bicycle planning in an historical context were part of this morning session. In the afternoon, Lennart Nout and Paul Belton from Mobycon conducted a bicycle tour around the cities of Utrecht and Houten. Instead of simply focusing on how amazing the cycling infrastructure is, the Utrecht segment of the tour highlighted years of infrastructure adaptation that allows the city to cope with increasingly higher cycling rates. The tour showed suburban neighborhoods, tramways, recreational paths, and other great cycling infrastructure.
After a short train ride to Houten, the tour met with André Botermans – an urban planner and cycling ambassador for the city of Houten. André guided the cyclists around the “heaven of heaven” of cycling facilities. Houten is a special new town that focuses automobile traffic to the ring road, allowing planners to put pedestrians and cyclists at the top of the priority list. The tour members couldn’t help but smile while riding Houten’s wooden bicycle (Houten’s houten fiets in Dutch) through the abundant sunshine of the bicycle utopia.
On Friday a visit was organized to the city of Nijmegen, the cycling city of 2016 and co-host of Velo-city 2017. After a discussion and presentation on cycling policies and strategies by Klaas-Jan Gräfe of the municipality of Nijmegen, a cycling tour of the greater region of Nijmegen was started. E-bikes were rented to demonstrate and experience the synergy between cycling highways and the E-bike. Together with Sjors van Duren about 40kms were covered in just a few hours. Highlights were the cycling highway in development between Nijmegen and Cuijk, the RijnWaalpad and the integration of cycling highways into the urban fabric of the city of Nijmegen.