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Europe Trip 2013

The stories below are from a reporting trip taken by Jonathan Maus in May and June of 2013. Jonathan spent a week in Copenhagen and then joined a Bikes Belong/Green Lane Project-funded study tour through several cities in the Netherlands including Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam and others.

Special thanks to Pro Photo Supply in Portland for their support with camera equipment. Check out the BikePortland Photo Gallery for images from the trip.

Observing Jodenbreestraat, a lively shopping street in Amsterdam

Friday, June 14th, 2013

My recent trip to the Netherlands was funded in part by Bikes Belong's Green Lane Project. You can read more stories from the trip here.

Amsterdam riding and city scenes-16
Jodenbreestraat in Amsterdam is a shopping street that bustles with activity.

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Nørrebrogade in Copenhagen: Proof of concept that low-car streets work

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013
Norrebrogade scenes-4
Nørrebrogade is a street in Copenhagen where biking, walking, and transit have priority over cars. And the result is extraordinary.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

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The Hovenring and Rijksmuseum path: Two wonders of the bicycle world

Saturday, June 8th, 2013
The Hovenring in Eindhoven-50
A $30 million suspended bicycle overpass in Eindhoven.
Amsterdam after dark-11
A bicycle-only path underneath the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePorltand)

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In Rotterdam, a peek at Dutch road design in an American-style city

Thursday, June 6th, 2013
Rotterdam street scenes-76
On this shared street in Rotterdam, cars are "guests" and bicycles have priority.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland

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A day of 'nice cycling' in Den Bosch

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013
s-Hertogenbosch-82
They're not afraid to try new things in
Den Bosch, and it's paying off in more ways than one.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

This is part of ongoing coverage of the Green Lane Project/Bikes Belong Netherlands Study Tour.

'Lekker Fietsen' is a promotional slogan used by 's-Hertogenbosch, a town about 60 miles south of Amsterdam. It means "Nice Cycling" and today we found out there's plenty of that in this charming town of 142,000 people. Den Bosch, as its known locally, is one of the Netherlands' up-and-coming cycling cities. In fact, it currently holds the title of Cycling City of the Year as awarded by the Dutch Cyclists' Union.

From a stunning roundabout with two-way bicycle traffic (seriously!) to a nifty bike theft prevention campaign, Den Bosch is full of inspiring bicycle innovations. After falling behind other Dutch cities, they launched a focused effort in to increase cycling in 2009 and it seems to be paying off. Streets in their city center are teeming with bikes and economic vitality (while cars are nowhere in sight) and their bicycle mode is growing. Between 2009 and 2011, their percentage of daily trips made by bicycle went up 4 points, from 33 to 37 percent. They're the only city in the Netherlands that has seen such an increase in recent years.
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Learning the Dutch way and exploring Utrecht

Monday, June 3rd, 2013
Utrecht study tour-67
This smooth, wide and direct cycle track leads
from downtown Utrecht to a large housing development.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

This is part of ongoing coverage of the Green Lane Project/Bikes Belong Netherlands Study Tour.

The secret to success of cycling in the Netherlands is their practical approach. Somehow, while the United States suffers from a car-centric transportation and road design culture, the Dutch have managed to find a much more humane and effective balance. During the first day of our study tour in Utrecht today we learned the basic building blocks of the Dutch approach to transportation policy and we got a first-hand look at how that translates onto the street.
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Photos: Cycling style in Amsterdam

Monday, June 3rd, 2013
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An Amsterdam family dressed to ride.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland

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Cycling is social in Amsterdam

Monday, June 3rd, 2013
Amsterdam June 1-122
If your city's bike riders look like this,
you're doing something right.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Like I mentioned in my last post, I had a few "free" days in Amsterdam after my time in Copenhagen and before the official study tour began today (more on that later). Since I'll be back in Amsterdam to do all the wonky stuff later this week, I spent those free days doing what I like best: wandering around and observing people on bikes. I think you learn a lot about a city's bike culture simply by watching how its residents use their bicycles.

What I saw in Amsterdam was the most sociable (and stylish) cycling imaginable. It was really astounding to see how the bicycle is such a key element in the social fabric.
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Checking in from the road as our study tour begins

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013
Amsterdam the magnificent-48
Amsterdam scene.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland

This is part of ongoing coverage of the Green Lane Project/Bikes Belong Netherlands Study Tour.

Hey everyone. Thought it would be a good time to check and let you know what's happening with my trip. As you might have gathered, I was in Copenhagen last week. Over the weekend I traveled to Amsterdam for a few days prior to meeting up with the Bikes Belong/Green Lane Project study tour delegation in Utrecht.

It's been great meeting everyone in the 12-member delegation (and three Bikes Belong staffers). It's a stellar collection of folks. Joining me to represent Portland is Executive Director of Venture Portland Heather Hoell, BTA Advocacy Director Gerik Kransky, and Metro Councilor Sam Chase.
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'Flex parking' gives space to bikes and cars

Saturday, June 1st, 2013
Flex parking in Copenhagen-7
Reserved parking for bikes in the street — but
only for part of the day.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

This post is part of ongoing coverage from Europe. Read more stories from my trip here.

You might have a perception that everyone bikes in Copenhagen, or that the City has carte blanche to put cycle tracks and bike parking wherever they please. It turns out that's not exactly true.

Copenhagen has some of the same problems we do: Such as finding space for bikes when cars need space too. As the number of people who bike goes up, so does competition for road space. And there are still many people in Copenhagen (a growing number actually) who prefer to drive. A few days ago I met Niels Hoe, a consultant who formerly managed the City of Copenhagen's bicycle parking program. Hoe shared an interesting concept called "flex parking". (more...)

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