Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Want More Inspiration? National Bike Summit and the Dutch!

The National Bike Summit is going on. Right now! Reports are that a record 550 bicycle activists are in Washington DC to work on better biking. Check out Bikeportland's amazing coverage! Secretary of Transportation LaHood pledges the DOT will be a "full partner" and work towards "livable communities."

For those of us who can't make it, the Netherlands just released a new edition of a bicycling pamphlet.

Tineke Huizinga, State Secretary of Transport, Public Works and Water Management, writes in the preface to the substantial pamphlet, Cycling in the Netherlands 2009:
‘I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike’. Queen’s ‘Bicycle race’ could easily be the Dutch national anthem. That’s how much and how often we use our bicycles.

Why? Because cycling means arriving at work, school or the gym in a more alert frame of mind, feeling creative and positive. So I hope that this brochure will help boost the number of kilometres cycled worldwide.

The Netherlands has a great cycling reputation, but cycling is currently trendy all over the world. In many countries, the bicycle is becoming more and more important, in traffic as well as in transport policy.

Here are some very good reasons why:
One: it improves the flow of traffic in towns. The bicycle does not take up much room, either on the road or when parked and travels flexibly from door to door. The bicycle oils the wheels of the municipal traffic system.

Two: cycling and walking are by far the most sustainable way of getting around. No emissions, no noise.

Three: cycling is healthy, making it easy to get your vital daily exercise. If you cycle, you not only combat obesity, you also help prevent heart disease, diabetes and cancer. It makes people fitter and more alert.

Other countries regularly ask the Netherlands to help them shape their own bicycle policy. We welcome such requests, because we want to contribute to a more sustainable, cleaner, healthier and more efficient transport system. With this brochure, for example, which introduces you to cycling in the Netherlands.

After the successful last edition, we now present the new, updated edition. We also invite you to visit the website or where you will find lots of information about cycling in the Netherlands and experiences in other countries, presented in a clear and well organised way.

Keep cycling!
Here's a link to the pdf.

It's great to see two important transportation leaders talk about bicycling as real rather than second-class transportation. And gotta love the Queen reference!

(h/t - Tom Vanderbilt's How We Drive)

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