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Active transportation experts will present at Metro today

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on August 19th, 2009 at 9:58 am

Ton Daggers (in blue shirt) had
a great time at Sunday Parkways.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Metro will host a presentation today titled, "Active Transportation in The Netherlands and South America".

The event will feature visiting experts Ruud Ditewag and Ton Daggers. Mr. Ditewig is the current Bicycle Coordinator for the City of Utrecht, Netherlands (which has the sixth highest bike mode share in the world at 33%). Ton Daggers is the Director of Movilization, a European and South American network of cities that are transforming their streets to be more friendly to bicycle transportation. Daggers was also a consultant to Bogota, Colombia Mayor Enrique Penalosa as he implemented one of the most comprehensive bicycle networks in the world.

According to Metro, Ditewig and Daggers will share lessons learned as they've implemented bicycle transportation projects in The Netherlands and in three countries in South America.

"They will focus on specific ideas that may be applicable in our region and also share some of the lessons they have learned from the Metro region transportation management, encouragement, and education."

Ditewig and Daggers both took part in the Sunday Parkways event over the weekend and they will also be presenting at the Safe Routes to School National Conference that kicks off today.

Event details:

    Brown Bag: Active Transportation in The Netherlands and South America
    Metro Regional Center (600 NE Grand Ave)
    Today, 8/19
    12:00-1:30 p.m.
    Metro Council Chambers

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Comments
  • RyNO Dan August 19, 2009 at 10:53 am

    Guessing they were the ones filming on the Hawthorne bridge.

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  • brettoo August 19, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Wish I could be there. Will a transcript/ podcast/ video/ BP report be available online?

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  • She August 19, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    I went to this and I was struck by Ton's observation that we travel on our bikes at an overall higher speed. On average I think they said cyclist travel under 10 miles an hour. I could ponder why this is and some did at the presentation however one effect that Ton pointed out and I have to agree with is that it jeopardizes the safety to move bike commuting to less safe for children and youth. As a parent I have to agree, I am not very comfortable with my 13 yo riding on the Hawthorne in rush hour mostly due to speeds of other cyclists and the overall congestion.

    I think this is something we need to sort out both as bike riders and members of a community that values alternative transportation.

    That was my big "take away" for the day.

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  • Todd Boulanger August 19, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    The speed differential between Dutch and Portland cyclists (10 mph vs 15/18 mph) has a lot to do with the combined issues of: equipment (single speed older city bikes), flat topography/ shorter trips, sweat solution (ride slow vs showering), mix of abilities and ages, etc. for your typical urban weekday bicyclist.

    PS. Greg (and Metro as host) thanks for putting this event on.

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  • She August 19, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    Todd,

    While I agree with what you are saying, I also have this feeling that there is something to our relative "youth" as a cycling culture.

    I think there are things we cyclist can do to make it safer on multi-use pathways and when we are sharing a bike lane for that matter.

    And yes, Greg, Rex, and all the others that made this event happen - Thank you! It has got me thinking about my commuting habits and our bike infrastructure.

    I am thankful for what we have and believe it will "mature" with generations of cycling culture.

    I look forward to reading what Jonathan has to say about the event.

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  • [...] Mr. Ditewig is the current Bicycle Coordinator for the City … Originally posted here: BikePortland.org » Blog Archive » Active transportation experts … Share [...]

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  • Amsterdamize August 20, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    "The speed differential between Dutch and Portland cyclists (10 mph vs 15/18 mph) has a lot to do with the combined issues of: equipment (single speed older city bikes), flat topography/ shorter trips, sweat solution (ride slow vs showering), mix of abilities and ages, etc. for your typical urban weekday bicyclist."

    Todd, this doesn't paint the real picture, I think. It's a myth that we 'only' and/or on average ride single speed/older city bikes, and that we go much slower on them. Most have (standard) 3 speeds, not the other way round. Things do evolve, even here :). I can't count the times when friends visiting Amsterdam were amazed how fast people were biking, upright and all. Second, flat terrain would actually imply that we'd be able to go faster, right? But ah, the famous Dutch windy conditions will strike some blows ;).
    Third, Dutch cycling commuters' distances are longer than in the US. Statistics do show that we make more shorter trips too, true, for shopping, visiting friends, errands, etc. Percentage wise, more people cycle and on average over longer distances. The Dutch statistics also include 'commuter' distances covered by schoolchildren, students and the elderly, not just adults going to work. I know you addressed that, but I wanted to put it into context.

    Concerning the sweating part: my own personal interpretation of these statistics and my daily life as a Dutchman living in Amsterdam and working in Utrecht is that in general Dutch people just take it easy when they're cycling. People really want to enjoy their ride, for whatever purpose. No Tour de France frantics, no stress. Sure, we can be in a hurry and we'll sweat a bit. Sure, you don't see many people wrapping themselves in plastic when it rains, because "Yeah, I'll dry up again." is widely shared, nobody will think less of you, professionally or socially.

    A final cultural touch: you gotta know that these Dutchies are awfully pragmatic and stoic. With just enough flair. You know: style over speed. :)

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