Introducing Dutch Infrastructure to Romania

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A suspended bicycle roundabout designed by Dutch firm Ipv Delft seamlessly incorporates cyclists into an otherwise dangerous transportation nexus in the Netherlands.  Photo credit: Ipv Delft

DELFT, NETHERLANDS – June 19, 2014 – WTB and DHS led a delegation of Romanian policy makers, engineers, city planners, and transportation officials on a guided bicycle tour of Delft today, meeting with local city bicycle planners and engineers as well as representatives of Ipv Delft, a private sector Dutch specialist in design for multimodal transport.  The trip is a cooperative effort by WTB, its sister nonprofit Transportation Alternatives for Marin (TAM,) and DHS to convey to key Romanian decision makers what is possible when designing cities and towns for optimal transportation, most particularly for bicycles and pedestrians.

Delft has been a key city of focus for previous TAM Study Trips, dating back to 1998.  The Delft Experiment provided the inspiration behind the $100 million 2005 USA Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program, which was based upon the premise of the Delft Experiment: (which loosely translated) that to see the impact of bicycle transportation, you must build a complete bicycle network. Delft additionally boasts a 50% mode-share of cycling, more than double that of cycling friendly US city Portland, Oregon at 21.5%, based on City Clock Magazine’s 2014 findings.

WTB and DHS hope the Study Trip will provide support for the delegation using successful cycling infrastructure and design to gain access to €23 billion granted by the European Commission for Romanian development as a new phase of the Cohesion Policy.  DHS, Romania’s largest bicycle producer, has historically been involved with bicycle advocacy and was excited to work with WTB’s nonprofit TAM in an effort to gain international expertise in an area TAM has direct familiarity with: Best Practice Bicycle and Pedestrian International Study Trips.  Additionally, DHS has distributed WTB bicycle components in Romania for the past 5 years.

TAM President, Patrick Seidler, third from the left, meeting with Ipv Delft transportation specialists.  Photo Credit: TAM

“There is nothing quite as satisfying as teaching through doing,” explained WTB and TAM’s President, Patrick Seidler.  “The entirety of this Study Trip occurs either by bicycle, train, or transit, proving multi-modal transportation can work seamlessly.  Combine that with face to face meetings with famed Dutch design firm Ipv Delft, CROW (the NGO responsible for Dutch bikeway technical guidelines,) and several Dutch cities and transportation officials, and you have irrefutable evidence that multimodal design is not only possible but highly effective,” stated Seidler.

Centraal Station Bike Garage, Amsterdam, accommodating bicycle parking for 2,500. Photo Credit: H. Michael Miley

Evidence of this design working elsewhere can be found in the fifteen US cities forming NACTO, the National Association of City Transportation Officials.  NACTO modeled its Urban Bikeway Design Guide based on technical transportation information and guidelines from CROW, the Dutch NGO often credited with much of the Netherland’s transportation success.

The Romanian delegation will continue its tour of the Netherlands by bicycle and rail through June 20, 2014 when they will be meeting with EU funding expert Ed Lancaster from the European Cyclists’ Federation in Brussels who will be meeting the group in Amsterdam.

 Nighttime view of the Hovenring, designed by Ipv Delft, revealing what is possible when cycling transportation is prioritized. Photo Credit: Ipv Delft

About WTB

Founded in 1982, WTB was formed in the birthplace of mountain biking to design better bicycle products.  Renowned for saddles, tires, rims, and grips, this rider-driven company continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible through an unrelenting spirit of innovation and passion for two-wheeled adventure.

About Best Practice Bicycle and Pedestrian International Study Trips

Starting in 1998, Transportation Alternatives for Marin, TAM, has sponsored and led tours of the Netherlands to influential global transportation and government officials revealing non car-centric transport and the benefits of muti-modal design in urban settings.  Success of early tours can be seen through programs such as Safe Route to Schools, the Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot Program, as well as the 2005 $4.5 billion SAFETEA-LU passed bill governing US transportation spending.  11 trips have taken delegates from Taiwan, San Francisco, San Jose, Madison, Boulder, Minneapolis, Columbia, Sheboygan, Washington DC, and Marin County throughout the Netherlands and sometimes Germany by bicycle, rail, and multi-modal transport.  Inspiration from early tours led to Bikes Belong’s Greenlane Project as well as NACTO cities in the United States utilizing design guidelines modeled after Dutch transportation success proven and witnessed.  Transportation Alternatives for Marin believes deeply in experiential learning, one bike lane at a time, and one Best Practice Bicycle and Pedestrian International Study Trip at a time.

Best Practice Bicycle and Pedestrian International Study Trips CROW Delft DHS Greenlane Project Hovenring Ipv Delft NACTO Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot Program Patrick Seidler Safe Route to Schools SAFETEA-LU TAM Transportation Alternatives for Marin

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