And the winner is…

Nijmegen has been elected Cycling City of the Netherlands in 2016! This was announced today by the Fietsersbond (Cyclists’ Union) in the Netherlands. Although I made it no secret that I thought Utrecht was a great candidate (as was outsider Goes), I am also very happy with and for Nijmegen. It was with reason that I concluded my post about this great cycling city with these words: “All in all cycling in Nijmegen is really attractive. That is why I think Nijmegen is a worthy candidate in this competition that would certainly deserve to win the title.”

This woman is strugling to cycle up the hill in the historic city centre. She manages! The woman in the background has a much easier task: she rides an e-bike.
This woman is strugling to cycle up the hill in the historic city centre. She manages! Apart from the occasional hill, cycling in Nijmegen; Cycling City of the Netherlands 2016, is really easy!

The Fietsersbond published some initial reactions in the annoucement.

Chair of the jury, Peter van der Knaap (SWOV) said the competitors were very strong. “Goes was very impressive, Groningen and Utrecht show enormous ambition and Maastricht really works on a transformation. Still, we thought Nijmegen scored best.”

Alderman Harriët Tiemens of Nijmegen is very happy with the title Fietsstad 2016. “It is a beautiful reward for our efforts, but also a great incentive to continue to work even harder to get our cycling policies right. We want to make Nijmegen as attractive as possible for cyclists. In recent years we see that more and more people cycle. Cycling to the city centre increased with nearly 20 percent. That decreases traffic and parking problems in the city, but it is also good for air quality and people’s health in Nijmegen. You can see that there is great enthusiasm for cycling in Nijmegen and its surroundings, not only in the growing figures of bicycle use, but also by the great interest for the Giro d’Italia that passed through our region and by the fact that together with Arnhem we host next year’s world bicycle Conference Velo-city. “

Saskia Kluit, Director of the Fietsersbond, is pleased with the choice of Nijmegen as bicycle city 2016. “Nijmegen is an entrepreneurial city with a bicycle heart in the right place. It really isn’t surprising that the world bicycle Velo-City Conference will take place in this region next year. Nijmegen has an eye for the potential of the bike, and has now justly been rewarded. “

On Thursday afternoon there will be a celebration in Nijmegen that I will also attend. For now it may be nice to watch my video portrait again, knowing that Nijmegen has been chosen to be the winner of this year’s competition!

Nijmegen is Cycling City of the Netherlands in 2016!

8 thoughts on “And the winner is…

  1. This woman is strugling to cycle up the hill in the historic city centre. She manages! Apart from the occasional hill, cycling in Nijmegen; Cycling City of the Netherlands 2016, is really easy!

    Are electric bikes popular in Nijmegen?

  2. Thanks, Edmonton Teen, for your contribution.

    The shared space in Drachten (not Dordreecht) is the prototype of all shared space experiments in the Netherlands.

    As far as I know there is no one who is monitoring these ‘shared-space-disasters all overv the country. It has been marketed as a solution for conflicts between slow traffic and motorcartraffic. But the conflicts remain.

    In practice, in my own town Arnhem, the conflicts are solved by pedestrians and cyclists who are now forced to be more careful to in this traffic. Their perception of the public space is dominated know by insecurity about the behaviour of cardrivers. No motorist drives slower or more careful; on the contrary.

    Shared space is big lie, but local authorities believe in it.

    As far as I know, Nijmegen does not have too many of these ‘free-to-hunt-areas’.

    Jan Berkelder

    1. I fully agree with you. However, I would extend that to ‘bicycle roads’, which are in my opinion just another horrible shared space with a different name, but which are heavily promoted on most bicycle blogs. If even the lobbyist and cyclists themselves cannot agree, you cannot blame authorities for getting confused.

  3. Maybe the Prize is predominantly meant as an impetus to do even more, thus Groningen or Utrecht had not really great chances to win the award, although I don’t know many cities that don’t think traffic improvement more bike-oriented than Utrecht (or Groningen) do. Anyway Nijmegen is a really graceful winner of the award and has deserved the honour to be a role model for all cities in the world to improve cycling!

  4. I was most pleased with Goes (the G still screws up me trying to pronounce it), but Nijmengen works well too (and I had no idea at first that the IJ letter didn’t involve pronouncing the J). Good choice jury. Are there people specifically looking at where cycle infrastructure is not up to the best standards, like those roundabouts in Groningen with practically no divide between cyclists and pedestrians, the shared space in Dordrecht (I think I’m spelling that wrong, I mean a city something like 15-25 km to the west of Assen), the abundance of advance stop lines in Amsterdam, etc? Even the Dutch have to hold themselves to a high standard.

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