Regional bicycle safety
The Netherlands is often viewed as a paradise for cyclists, and while we are proud of our tradition, things are not perfect. In 2013, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment together with the Association of Dutch Municipalities directed municipalities to develop local approaches to bicycle safety after discovering that the decline in total road fatalities was not reflected in statistics for cyclists. The Region of North Veluwe decided the smartest approach would be one that is integrated to increase bicycle safety across the entire region.
Developing a regional approach
Mobycon has been working with North Veluwe to develop this approach. As traffic safety involves people, it is not a simple problem to be solved. In our experience a strong research process is a good route to an effective solution. To begin, we conducted an analysis of traffic safety policy. In order to understand the goals of stakeholders as well as the needs of users, we held discussions with eight municipalities, Fietsersbond (the Dutch Cyclists’ Union), traffic safety organisations and the police. Through this process, it became clear there are three groups that should be targeted, including senior citizens, high school students and cyclists as a whole. Two months into the process, we have a better understanding of the situation and the problem to be solved.
We are now reviewing new and existing actions to be taken at the regional and municipal levels to improve the situation. Some of the smartest solutions – such as encouraging knowledge sharing between municipalities – seem easy but are not always being carried out in reality. With organizational support, there is much opportunity to learn from each other, especially within the same region. At the municipal level, effective actions may be related to infrastructure and maintenance. For example, better treatment of icy roads during winter. In coordination, these seemingly small but concrete actions can make a big difference in bicycling safety across North Veluwe.
Mobycon is undertaking similar projects for the Dutch municipalities of Ommen and Hardenberg. As we learn and discover new and better approaches to increase cycling safety in the Netherlands, we enjoy working with communities abroad aiming to do the same. If you are interested in learning more about our workshops and other products, visit the Services & Products page, or contact Martijn van de Leur with specific questions.