Of US students and a Spanish Award

Monday 16th July 2012 was a very special day for me! Professor Furth of Northeastern University in Boston had invited me to give a presentation to his students, while they were visiting ’s-Hertogenbosch, my hometown, that may after all call itself best cycling city of the Netherlands at the moment. Coincidentally the Asociación Medios de Transporte Saludables AMTS (Association for Sustainable Means of Transport) from Pamplona in Spain, asked me if I would accept their annual award. These two exceptional events both took place on the same day. The city of ’s-Hertogenbosch proved worthy of their latest title ‘Most hospitable … Continue reading Of US students and a Spanish Award

“I was only speeding slightly”

As part of a long running campaign to make road users aware of their own influence on road safety the Dutch Ministry for infrastructure and the environment recently launched a new series of commercials. These ads run on national television. It is very clear who is held responsible here. Drivers are directly addressed to reflect on their excuses for speeding. There is no excuse for speeding when another person’s safety is at stake. The overall slogan of the long running campaign translates as “Getting home safely, it’s in your own hands” (Veilig thuiskomen heb je zelf in de hand). Every … Continue reading “I was only speeding slightly”

Promoting Cycling in the Netherlands

They are perhaps not entirely politically correct, but I found these amusing ads to promote cycling in the Netherlands in the 1980s. I even remembered seeing them on national television at the time. After some investigations I found out all three were from 1985. Apart from the use of stereotypes some things are striking: Even in 1985 the Dutch needed foreigners to point out how good it is to cycle in the Netherlands. The English lady tells us there are cycle tracks that “crisscross the country side”. So they were not so common in cities yet. This promotion is especially … Continue reading Promoting Cycling in the Netherlands