Cycling for Everyone
Cycling for Everyone

Mini-ThinkBike Workshop, National USA Bike Summit 2023

1 June 2023

In collaboration with The League of American Bicyclist, the Dutch Cycling Embassy hosted a mini-ThinkBike Workshop during the National USA Bike Summit in Washington DC on the 28th of March.  


The workshop focussed on translating best practices from the Netherlands onto American streets, taking into consideration a combination of infrastructure design and automobile management (hardware) and community engagement (software/orgware).

On the morning of the 28th, the workshop room filled up with a big crowd of interested participants from all over the USA.
Shelley Bontje, project manager at the Dutch Cycling Embassy, kicked the workshop off with a brief introduction to the Dutch Integrated Approach, with zooming into a bicycle parking example of the city of Rotterdam, which elements of Hardware, Software and Orgware can be recognized?

Thereafter, DCE’s experts followed with a plenary pitch of their related expertise and matching interactive exercise.  

Emily Thomason (Mobycon) focussed on the Dutch Approach to Network Design. She raised the question ‘Why to Start with a Network Approach’ and shared key factors of a good transport network based on a flow and place method (so called good street approach).
Dick van Veen (Dickvanveen) focussed on typical Dutch design features for building and developing bicycle friendly infrastructure (including intersections and roundabouts). Dick showcased bicycle friendly infrastructure by designing slow zones and fast zones. In addition, he highlighted the positive contribution that well-designed infrastructure can have on improving traffic safety.
Lucas Snaije (BYCS) concluded the cycles of pitches by focusing on the human side of infrastructure: Human infrastructure examines the role of culture and social networks in how we relate to our environment. Lucas examined lessons learned from the Dutch on how to get families cycling.   

After the round of pitches, it was time to start thinking and activate the brains of all participants present. Everyone was free to choose and join one of the interactive sessions. In small groups and under high time pressure, key factors of a good transport network were sketched, hot design topics/problems were tackled and targetable influences of cycling behaviour were intensively discussed.  


Time was running by and before we all knew, it was time to move on for lunch whereafter we jumped on our bicycles for a Dutch-Inspired Infrastructure cycle tour led by DDOT. The tour visited infrastructural legacies which can be seen on many DC streets and intersections as a result from two ThinkBike Workshops held back in the days.  


The complete day, the mini-ThinkBike workshop and the bike ride, gave a good taste of the impact which a ThinkBike Workshop can have. We are looking forward continuing the knowledge exchange between the United States of America and The Netherlands!  


The League of American Bicyclists is leading the movement to build a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. Their vision is a nation where everyone recognizes and enjoys the many benefits and opportunities of bicycling. As leaders, they are committed to listen and learn, define standards, and share best practices to engage diverse communities and build a powerful, unified voice for change.  

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