7 September 2011 – Antoinette van der Maas (see below), our very own local contact person for the regional Dutch Cyclists Union, is very pleased to hear, as will all cyclists in A&W, that certain representatives in the city council made it clear during discussions on the Haagse Nota Mobiliteit (HNM – The Hague Mobility Bill) that the city must show more commitment to stimulating the use of bikes.
A number of concrete proposals will be submitted to back up the wishes of the cyclist, which hopefully will form part of the council’s traffic policy until 2020 and its preview for 2030. More discussions will follow on 14 and 22 September.
Cycle City 2013
D66 wants The Hague to do all it can to win ‘Fietsstad 2013’: a biennial prize awarded by the Fietsersbond (Cyclists Union) for the city most dedicated to the cyclist. This will send a positive message to citizens that the council is determined to do everything it can to become more pro-cyclist and to use the €10 million allocated for cyclist facilities in the coalition agreement wisely.
More urgency required
This is particularly the case with regard to setting a deadline for actually implementing the ambitious plans for a network of high-grade cycle paths set out in the city’s long-term plan Meerjarenplan Fiets 2007-2010 for cyclists and again in the new plans soon to be launched for 2012-2015, and for ample provision of parking for bikes.
Cycling is not only good for the cyclist but for the city too. The latest update on The Hague Mobility Bill aspires to increasing bike use by 50% by 2030 and an independent committee investigating air and noise pollution has reiterated how important this is.
Hague region cycle route website now in English
19 September 2010 – Marcel Houtzager, Regional Portfolio Holder ‘Green Policy, Recreation and Tourism’ launched the English language version of the Fietsroute Netwerk Haaglanden website www.fietseninhaaglanden.nl (started earlier this year) during the 2010 “Feel at Home Fair”, which took place in The Hague City Hall.
The site is full of information about the cycle route network and tourist attractions in Haaglanden.
With immediate effect Antoinette van der Maas will be our very own local contact person on behalf of the regional Eerste Nederlandse Fietsersbond (ENFB – Cyclists Union).
Every district in The Hague now has a local representative and together they will have far more effect than just a single voice.
There is plenty about cars and ‘traffic’ in general in the Handboek Openbare Ruimte (council’s guide to public space) but it needs a chapter on bikes. The concerns of the cyclist – that environmentally friendly and oh so vulnerable road-user – do not feature at all: hence this campaign.
There is room for improvement on the cycling front throughout the city. But the Union cannot be everywhere at once when the complaints or suggestions come in about cycling safety and enjoyment. This is why people like Antoinette have joined forces with us to provide a contact point in your immediate neighbourhood whenever there is something you would like to report. She will do her best to raise the matter with the council authorities either directly or via the ENFB.
So e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org when you have something to report.
Near miss on the bike?
Sound the alarm!
Every neighbourhood knows the difficulties faced by cyclists. Ours too. Can’t the traffic lights remain green a bit longer for the cyclist? Why don’t the police take more action against motorists who park on the cycle lane? Can’t the visibility at this junction be improved for cyclists? Why isn’t there more room to accommodate cyclists turning off at junctions?
Do you regularly encounter this sort of problem when cycling? Then report it at www.fietsindeknel.nl! The Hague regional Fietsersbond (Cyclists Union) will list the complaints and then raise them – often booking positive results – with the municipal council.