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How Dutch Cycling benefits society


“I intend to keep on showing you even more Dutch Cycling in 2019”, that’s what I promised in my last real post of 2018 and in this post, the first one of the new year, you will get that quite literally! This post will be about the “Dutch Cycling Vision” by the Dutch Cycling Embassy. But first: Happy New Year everyone and may it be a good year for cycling!

Happy New Year, may 2019 bring good things and a lot of cycling. (No I did not photoshop that 19 in. That is a numbered junction in the system of numbered junctions for recreational cycling.)

The new brochure from the Dutch Cycling Embassy: “Dutch Cycling Vision”. Picture DCE.

As you know I aim to be an ambassador for the way we cycle in the Netherlands by trying to explain all the positive effects our cycling culture has on the Dutch society as a whole. Next week is my 10 year anniversary of doing this and I was also officially appointed Dutch Cycling Ambassador by the Dutch Cycling Embassy over two years ago. The Embassy has created a document, recently, in which they have compiled the currently available numbers and figures of multiple researches about Dutch Cycling into one document. As part of the national bicycle agenda Tour de Force 2020the Dutch Cycling Vision showcases what cycling creates, in terms of economy, environment, health, happiness, accessibility, safety and social equity.”

This page from the brochure features three pictures made by yours truly. The entrances of the station bicycle parking facility in Utrecht and Maastricht and a cycle street in Utrecht. Picture DCE.

One of the infographics in the new brochure. You will find all these facts mentioned in my video. Picture DCE.

The resulting brochure, which is available from the Embassy’s new website in English, French and German, has all the benefits of cycling described lively with a lot of cool infographics. In the final member meeting of 2018 the Embassy’s director asked the members to spread this brochure and its contents widely. Now, my expertise is making videos about Dutch Cycling, so that is exactly what I did for this first post of 2019. I translated the Dutch Cycling Vision into a video, which is my way of spreading the word. There are such a lot of facts and figures in this video (and the Vision it was based on) that I decided to include the integral text of the video in this post with footnotes pointing to the sources.

Enjoy!

Dutch Cycling, my first video for 2019.

Video Text

Cycling is very good for a society. The Dutch approach to cycling can help achieve accessibility, liveability, sustainability and health goals. The 17 million Dutch own almost 23 million bicycles and a quarter of all trips – nationwide – are made by bicycle. Still the Dutch Government earmarked a quarter of a billion euros to get another 200,000 commuters out of their car and onto their bicycles[1]. In their new program called Dutch Cycling, the Dutch Cycling Embassy explains why that is such a good idea.

Cycling is inexpensive, for people: the annual cost of riding a bike is approximately 300 euros whereas the annual cost of driving a car is approximately 8500 euros[2].

And for society: a kilometre covered by bike yields a social benefit of 0.68 euro cents, whereas buses cost society 29 cents per kilometre travelled and cars 37 euro cents[3].

Cyclists spend more in local shops! Although cyclists spend less per visit, they spend more overall because they shop more often than people driving[4].

Cycling is also good for the environment.

Not only does the product life cycle of a bicycle generate minimal carbon emissions[5],

the local air quality improves drastically when people switch from cars to bicycles. It reduces 65% NOx per kilometre travelled[6].

Public space is improved by turning car space into people’s space. This improves the local environment. Cycling is silent and helps to reduce traffic noise[7].

Riding a bicycle is a healthy, fun and low impact form of exercise for all ages. Employees cycling to work are less likely to call in sick. Cycling keeps you fit longer and your immune system young[8].

Cycling regularly boosts physical fitness and prolongs life expectancy by 3 to 14 months. Cycling 30 minutes every day is equivalent to the weekly recommended level of physical activity[9]. It also reduces the risk of serious diseases and depression: 40% less for Cancer, 52% less for Heart diseases and over 40% less for Premature death[10].

Cycling makes you happy! 59% of all cyclists associate cycling with joy and only 2% dislike cycling[11].

Dutch children are the happiest in the world. Cycling allows them to reach destinations safely and gives them the feeling of freedom[12].

Cycling improves the quality of life. It is associated with convenience, independence, flexibility and always arriving on time[13].

Cycling creates public space: Bicycles take up less space than cars, both for driving and in the amount of space taken up by parking. 1 car parked = 10 bicycles parked[14]

Within the urban environment, locations are easier to reach by bicycle – or a combination of bicycle and public transport – than by car[15].

Cycling saves you time. Without the need to search for a parking spot the bicycle is the fastest means of transportation within the urban environment[16].

Separating cyclists from motorised traffic results in fewer accidents and cycling cities have fewer casualties among cyclists. Developing a clear road safety program reduced 1.600 traffic casualties between 1998-2007 in the Netherlands[17].

Lower traffic speeds result in fewer deadly accidents. The likelihood of a deadly accident at speeds 30km/h or less is approximately 75% less than at 50km/h[18].

Cycling encourages social participation: Cycling requires social interaction with other road users to mediate traffic flows or to prevent collisions. As a result, cycling is experienced as a social activity[19].

Cycling keeps the elderly socially connected and active for longer[20].

The Dutch believe their approach to cycling can be applied in other countries too. Cities and regions around the world can benefit from Dutch expertise[21].

Dutch cycling could also improve your quality of life!

 

Sources

[1] Veldhoven, S. van, Minister for the Environment, in Dutch Cycling Vision from Dutch Cycling Embassy, October 2018.

[2] Hendriksen, I. and R. van Gijlswijk (2010), Fietsen is groen, gezond en voordelig [Cycling is green, healthy, and economical]. Leiden: TNO Quality of Life group. Via Dutch Cycling Vision from Dutch Cycling Embassy, October 2018.

[3] Decisio (2016), Waarde en Investeringsagenda Fietsen Verantwoordingsrapportage [Justification report on the social value of and investment agenda for cycling]. Amsterdam: Decisio. Via Dutch Cycling Vision from Dutch Cycling Embassy, October 2018.

[4] Decisio (2017), Waarderingskengetallen MKBA Fiets: state-of the art [Rating indicators of cycling SCBA: state-of-the-art]. Amsterdam: Decisio. Via Dutch Cycling Vision from Dutch Cycling Embassy, October 2018.

[5] European Cyclists’ Federation. (2016). Shopping by bike: Best friend of your city centre | ECF. [online] Available at: https://ecf.com/groups/shopping-bike-best-friend-your-city-centre [Accessed 5 Sep. 2018]. Via Dutch Cycling Vision from Dutch Cycling Embassy, October 2018.

[6] Harms, L. and Kansen, M. (2018). Cycling Facts. [online] Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, p.13. Available at: https://english.kimnet.nl/publications/publications/2018/04/06/cycling-facts [Accessed 11 Sep. 2018]. Via Dutch Cycling Vision from Dutch Cycling Embassy, October 2018.

[7] Institute for Transport Studies, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna (2010). Cycle-friendly cities – How cities can stimulate the use of bicycles. [e-book] CIVITAS GUARD – Evaluation, Monitoring and Dissemination for CIVITAS II. Available at: http://civitas.eu/sites/default/files/civitas_ii_policy_advice_notes_03_cycling_and_walking.pdf [Accessed 5 Sep. 2018]. Via Dutch Cycling Vision from Dutch Cycling Embassy, October 2018.

[8] Dutch Cycling Vision from Dutch Cycling Embassy, October 2018.

[9] De Hartog, Jeroen Johan, et al. (2010), “Do the health benefits of cycling outweigh the risks?” Environmental health perspectives 118.8 (2010): 1109. Via Dutch Cycling Vision from Dutch Cycling Embassy, October 2018.

[10] Hans Nijland (2017): Fietsen leidt tot langer en gezond leven [Cycling leads to a longer and healthier life]. The Hague, Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. Via Dutch Cycling Vision from Dutch Cycling Embassy, October 2018.

[11] Harms et al. (2017), Stabiele beelden verdiept; trends in beleving en beeldvorming van mobiliteit. [In-depth look at stable images; trends in perception of mobility]. The Hague, Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis. Via Dutch Cycling Vision from Dutch Cycling Embassy, October 2018.

[12] Taskovski Films. (2018). Why We Cycle – Trailer. [Online Video]. Available at: https://vimeo.com/246432864. [Accessed 12 Sep. 2018]. Via Dutch Cycling Vision from Dutch Cycling Embassy, October 2018.

[13] Harms et al. (2017), Stabiele beelden verdiept; trends in beleving en beeldvorming van mobiliteit. [In-depth look at stable images; trends in perception of mobility]. The Hague, Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis. Via Dutch Cycling Vision from Dutch Cycling Embassy, October 2018.

[14] 1 Fietscommunity [Cycling community] (2017), Van wie is de stad? [Who owns the city?] The Hague: Platform 31. Via Dutch Cycling Vision from Dutch Cycling Embassy, October 2018.

[15] Tetteroo, E. (Erik), 2015. Urban Cycling = HOD. Master City Developer. Via Dutch Cycling Vision from Dutch Cycling Embassy, October 2018.

[16] Tetteroo, E. (Erik), 2015. Urban Cycling = HOD. Master City Developer. Via Dutch Cycling Vision from Dutch Cycling Embassy, October 2018.

[17] Schepers, P., Methorst, R., Thüsh, M., van der Voet, M. and Wegman, F. (2014). Ontvlechten van fiets en snelverkeer. [ebook] Available at: https://library.swov.nl/action/front/fulltext?id=339618 [Accessed 5 Sep. 2018]. Via Dutch Cycling Vision from Dutch Cycling Embassy, October 2018.

[18] Archer, J., Fotheringham, N., Symmons, M. and Corben, B. (2008). The Impact of Lowered Speed Limits in Urban and Metropolitan Areas. [e-book] Monash University Accident Research Centre. Available at: https://www.monash.edu/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/216736/muarc276.pdf [Accessed 5 Sep. 2018]. Via Dutch Cycling Vision from Dutch Cycling Embassy, October 2018.

[19] Avila-Palencia, I., Int Panis, L., Dons, E., Gaupp-Berghausen, M., Raser, E., Götschi, T., Gerike, R., Brand, C., de Nazelle, A., Orjuela, J., Anaya-Boig, E., Stigell, E., Kahlmeier, S., Iacorossi, F. and Nieuwenhuijsen, M. (2018). The effects of transport mode use on self-perceived health, mental health, and social contact measures: A cross-sectional and longitudinal study. Environment International, 120, pp.199-206. Via Dutch Cycling Vision from Dutch Cycling Embassy, October 2018.

[20] VeiligheidNL (2018). Toolkit fietsveiligheid. [online] Veiligheid.nl. Available at: https://www.veiligheid.nl/valpreventie/voorlichtingsmateriaal/toolkit-fietsveiligheid [Accessed 5 Sep. 2018] Via Dutch Cycling Vision from Dutch Cycling Embassy, October 2018.

[21] Veldhoven, S. van, Minister for the Environment, in Dutch Cycling Vision from Dutch Cycling Embassy, October 2018.



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