A pioneering cycling city 40 years later
Tilburg was a pioneer when Dutch cities first began building bicycle-specific infrastructure in the late 1970s. Consultant Angela van der Kloof is a resident of that city. She was recently asked to share her expertise and give an analysis of where Tilburg is succeeding in the realm of cycling and where there is room for improvement.
The “Red Bicycle Path” in Tilburg was the first separated red cycle path built in The Netherlands and marked the beginning of real investment in cycling infrastructure. From this 10-kilometer route, an entire network has been developed. Tilburg used to attract visitors from around the world, who came to study the bicycle infrastructure. The city was also one of the first in The Netherlands to create a bicycle parking plan. Soft measures were also used to promote cycling among target groups not cycling in high numbers, such as immigrant women. According to 2008 figures, 14 percent of daily trips in Tilburg are made by walking and 23 percent by bike, which is quite average in The Netherlands.
In order to reclaim its title as a world-class cycling city, Angela observes the city must renew its commitment to cyclists. Innovative bicycle 2.0 solutions are being developed in other cities, see “Aiming to increase suburban bike commuting.” Lowering speed limits near the train station and along the ring road surrounding the centre are some of the immediate improvements Angela suggested. Soft measures such as creating incentives to encourage cycling to the centre and promoting the city’s commitment to Vision Zero are equally important. Though the city has grown and new roads have not always favoured cyclists, Angela believes the “Red Bicycle Path” is still a real source of pride for citizens of Tilburg. These positive feelings can be a starting point for rebuilding Tilburg’s status as leading cycling city.
Mobycon offers services appropriate for cities at every level of bicycle development addressing infrastructure as well as the cultural side of mobility. Read more about our services or contact Angela directly with questions.