ThinkBike Workshop in Norway
Within the beautiful scenary of the fjords in the west of Norway, two Kommunes, Aukra and Molde decided together to make the next step for cycling in their area.
Therefore on Wednesday April 5th and Thursday April 6th 2017 a ThinkBike Workshop has been organised in Norway by these two Kommunes and the Dutch Cycling Embassy in cooperation with Cycling Experts Stefan Bendiks of Artgineering and Richard ter Avest of Goudappel Coffeng. Technical support was requested on a outer urban route between Molde and Aukra Kommune, in which on both sides cycling paths are already in use, but a "missing link" is indicated in between without any cycling facilities currently.
The first day, Wednesday, was used to explore the area and prepare everything for Thursday, for which several local Experts were invited for the ThinkBike Workshop in Molde. Experts from Molde Kommune, Aukra Kommune, Fræna Kommune Statens vegvesen, Møre og Romsdal fylkeskommune, Syklistens landsforening and Friluftrådet Nordmøre og Romsdal were present.
During the Workshop om Thursday different expert presentations were shown, on general information and movies about the cycling culture in the Netherlands, planning and design aspects for cycling in different situations. The "Dare", "Able" and “Invite to cycle" methodology was discussed and used to get a grip on the actual ambitions of the different local authorities.
In the afernoon we worked together on different alternatives for the "missing link" between Molde and Aukra Commune. A complete separate and scenic route was sketched, using old agricultural road which are already in place for most part; it only should be repaved for the new cycling purpose (and in some places reconnected to the next part). Another option was a separated cycle path along the current road, with safety boundaries/ buffers wherever possible. The 'mountain side' appeared to be the beter and more suitable side to locate the cycle path (or cycle lane whenever limited space is available).
Together with some typicly Norwegian smoked salmon for lunch and Dutch Stroopwafels in between the sessions, we can conclude with very satisfying results and a great analysis of the Norwegian situation. An addition to the Norwegian situation would be an “inbetween zone”, let’s say 60 km/h, between highways and urban areas. Within the many rural areas in Norway, it’s appeared hard to find a good place for cycling infrastructure. A ‘zone’ like this will help increase traffic safety and could support all Norwegian municipalities in planning their rural areas.
The next step for Molde and Aukra Kommune would be an economic evaluation of different options, which will be plannend for the coming months. We'd like to thank Geir Gönz and his team for initiating this great cooperation and for this interesting case with special thanks to Geir himself for taking such good care of the Dutch team these days and for the extensive tour around the area on Wednesday!