Today Zwolle was announced to be the winner of the title “Best Cycling City of the Netherlands in 2014”! It was no secret that Zwolle was my favorite of the five finalists after I visited and portrayed them all in the past months. So I am very happy and I would like to congratulate Zwolle with this honourable title!
This week the magazine of the Cyclists’ Union gave spokesperson Hans Hop of the local chapter of the Union some phrases with regard to cycling in Zwolle, to which he responded as follows.
“The lack of bicycle parking facilities, especially in the city centre and the station. We have written a report on this parking problem that was well received, and that will be used to take action.”
“The many innovations, such as good bicycle tunnels, traffic light waiting time indicators and the bicycle roundabout. We are fortunate that councillors and officials in Zwolle appreciate our input. Although we only have a few active people, we are taken seriously. Zwolle has also taken the right path with developing bicycle streets, in which the bicycle has priority.”
What is the effect of the Best Cycling City Election ?
“This election is great because it draws attention to a lot of things. It was picked up well. People ask us: ‘Zwolle Best Cycling City – why exactly?’ And then they come up with things they are not happy about. That is good.”
“There are always areas to improve. For instance we think that bicycle signage could be better. We also advocate for bicycle facilities around larger stores. Zwolle will get a new Ikea, a new Hornbach and a new Zara. Developers forget the bike all the time. The municipality can make sure they do keep cycling in mind in the planning phase. And we would like new paths to be wider. You need to anticipate that there will be more people cycling in the future”.
So even in the “Best Cycling City of the Netherlands in 2014” there is always something to strive for and that is exactly what this election aims to boost. That cities compete with each other, so awareness is raised about the strong and weak points of cycling in a city, which in the end could lead to a better cycling climate.
Zwolle presents its cycling policies in the following video. (In Dutch but the images are telling!)