During the wrap up of the first day of the study visit in Utrecht the participants were given five questions: what was new?, what was surprising?, did you see anything strange?, what will you be gossiping about and what would you like to steal from Utrecht?
Worthwhile stealing was the infrastructure in Utrecht. Especially the nice bike lanes and the amount of them made some people jealous. The traffic exam, given to children in primary school at the age of 11-12 years was also very appealing. Surprising was the enormous amount of bikes, everywhere…on the street but also in the many bike parking garages. And some we’re surprised that you don’t see cyclists crash in rush hour.
During the two day study we had a few presentations and many interesting discussions. Rianne Boot told something about the Dutch cycling culture. Some other Dutch colleagues about the Way2Go (cycling/walking) Campaign and the Road Safety Label & School Zones. Our colleague of the Province Utrecht Jos had an interesting presentation about cultural backgrounds and cycling. Bike Master Lex told more about practical education at schools in the Traffic Garden. Something we had to experience ourselves on our own bikes . Yeh….everybody had to do an Practical Traffic Exam, and everybody passed. And no wonder, because everybody cycled so well. Very nice!
On each day we visited a school. At the first day it was obvious that we still have some work to do at that school: too many parents came by car to pick up their kids…even in this week of the Way2Go-(bike/walking)Campaign. The next day we visited the school of head teacher Mireille, who joined us in Gävle. She told us more about the school system and the way to come to school. An important lesson was to involve parents. At 2.30 pm we experienced ourselves how busy it can be at the school yard.
At the end of the study visit we cycled home again, through streets and over nice and comfortable bike lanes and over the Daphne Schipper (athlete) Cycling Bridge. At the end of the bridge a school was built underneath the road to the bridge. It was not only very educational and inspiring for all of us, but we also had a lot of fun. Thanks to you all, tough guys and girls on your bike…and because of the lovely weather;-) We proved that cycling is fun for everybody! Thank you so much.