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London’s Walking & Cycling Commissioner

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On June 5th, the Dutch Cycling Embassy hosted a study tour for London’s Walking & Cycling Commissioner.

On Wednesday, June 5th, 2019, the Dutch Cycling Embassy hosted a study tour for the Mayor of London’s Walking & Cycling Commissioner: Will Norman.

Mr. Norman—who was visiting the Netherlands to keynote the World Cycling Forum in Rotterdam—approached the Dutch Cycling Embassy in April about putting together a single-day program. We were more than happy to oblige, and after discussions with his office, identified three areas where London was facing specific challenges, and could learn from our expert members:

- Intersection design; protecting and prioritizing multiple modes and traffic light phases
- Balancing bus and bike networks; ensuring the latter doesn’t negatively impact the former
- Convincing public transport agencies to invest in bicycle facilities (parking, rental, etc.)

For the first half of the day, Mr. Norman and the DCE’s Chris Bruntlett were joined in Utrecht by Cindy Clevers of Tour de Force and Bas Hendriksen of the Loendersloot Group. They visited Croeselaan, a four-lane car-centred road that had recently been transformed into a linear park. From there, they rode along several fietsstraten (“bicycle streets”) to see how cars were treated as guests, and then pedaled across the spectacular Dafne Schippersbrug. This portion of the tour concluded at the bicycle parking facility at Centraal Station, which will soon hold the distinction of being the largest in the world.

After a half-hour train ride to Amsterdam, the second half of the day was spent with Roel Lenoir and Paul Hoofschult of 3pm, as well as Dick van Veen and Lennart Nout of Mobycon. Over lunch, 3pm provided a short presentation about their work helping employers stimulate bicycle (and e-bike) use among their staff. And then Mobycon took the reins for a 9-kilometre loop around Amsterdam. Highlights included Jodenbreestraat—the site of the freeway fight that changed the course of the city’s history—and Alexanderplein—a busy intersection where City engineers had removed the traffic lights, with positive results. Last but not least, the group visited Quellijnstraat, a neighbourhood street where most of the on-street car parking had been replaced with greenery, a playground, and bicycle parking.

At the end of the day, Mr. Norman was incredibly appreciative of the experience and expertise provided by the Dutch Cycling Embassy’s network participants. We hope to expand this cross-channel collaboration in the months and years ahead, and continue to inform and inspire his work improving active travel for nearly nine million Londoners.

“Thank you so much for an excellent day. It was such an inspiring tour. I feel very much reinvigorated and full of ideas.” – Will Norman

For a photo gallery of the study tour, please click here.

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