Day Two: Climaphobia, the Future of Dutch cycling & more

Bartek Komorowski of Velo Quebec shared some great ideas about quick and easy approaches for designing protected bike lanes/cycletracks in North America. In his street design workshop, the group used Streetmix.net to create a new design concept.
Bartek Komorowski of Velo Quebec shared some great ideas about quick and easy approaches for designing protected bike lanes/cycletracks in North America. In his street design workshop, the group used Streetmix.net to create a new design concept.

Anders Swanson, organiser of Winter Cycling Congress 2014 Winnipeg said it best:

“It’s just cycling that happens in winter.”

…so let’s get on with it already!

If you really need a reason, Anthony Desnick of Nice Ride Minnesota & Minneapolize points out:

“Biking puts all of us in a good mood!”

Here’s Tuesday’s recap.

Gain insight into how and why people cycle all through the winter in Leeuwarden with a great video series from Sjoerd Nota of the NHL Hogeschool’s Shared Space Knowledge Centre.

Shining the light on winter cycling

In winter, Dutch people cycle in the dark 36 percent of the time and more than a third do so without proper lights. ANWB, the consumer advocacy organization for cyclists and drivers is working to reduce traffic fatalities – in accordance with the UN Decade of Road safety – 50 percent by 2020. Jeanette van ‘t Zelfde of ANWB discussed the Light Brigade campaign, which is drawing attention to the issue and helping to better equip cyclists. Read more in this blog post.

The van Gogh cycle path has caused a big splash online and also in Eindhoven where it is now attracting tourists. Heijmans is the company that developed the light-emitting stones used to make the path. To ensure the path glows all night, LED lights are also included. Check it out via the video below.

The future of Dutch cycling

Looking at the Netherlands from the outside, it is easy to think cycling has reached its apex, but the Dutch are not satisfied. Johan Diepens, CEO of Mobycon said the streets of his country will look very different in the next 5 to 10 years. Urban space will be reallocated so streets are more multimodal. In the future, it is expected 31 million trips per day will be made by bike with public transport and cars making up the other 20 million daily trips. Currently, bikes make up 25 million trips per day and public transport and cars make up another 25 million. The e-bike will help make this possible, especially for senior citizens, winter cyclists – who must compete with strong winds – urban delivery people – who are increasing along with online shopping – are some of the groups that stand to benefit.

The underground bike parking garage at NHL Hogeschool keeps bikes dry.
The underground bike parking garage at congress venue NHL Hogeschool keeps bikes dry.

What’s cold got to do with it?

No one can make the muddled up issues surrounding urban cycling as clear as Mikael Colville-Andersen. “We know how to maintain the infrastructure in winter and to ‘eliminate’ the season in a transport perspective.” Further, Mikael pointed out people who live in winter climates own winter clothes. The bigger challenge is to sell the 99 percent on transportation cycling. For this, Mikael gave a quick and entertaining analysis of bicycle posters from the end of the 19th century to illustrate the principles behind the marketing: liberation, modernity, elegance and more.

Whether the climate is hot or cold, people will say it is too much as Meredith Glaser points out.
Whether the climate is hot or cold, people will say it is too much as Meredith Glaser points out.

When did we become such wimps? This was the question explored by Meredith Glaser of Copenhagenize through her presentation on “climaphobia” or rather our fear of weather, which is the result of spending so much time in artificial environments. She also made the point that showing people they can ride bikes is more powerful then telling them to ride bikes. The latter approach only pits people against each other when what most of us at #WCC15 want is a bicycle-friendly environment for the 99 percent.

We’ll be posting again soon with more updates!

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