The Den Hague experience

The NCC invited Inge Molenaar, chief cyclist of the Den Hague city bureaucracy, to tell the NCC what it should do to make the National Capital Region cycling friendly. As part of that visit, she gave a public presentation Monday night.

A few of her points stood out to me:

— ebikes will extend the comfortable cycling range from 8km now to 16km. The Hague will continue to let ebikes mix with pedal bikes on bike paths. Mopeds, on the other hand, being faster, are kept on the roads.

— they have a practical policy guideline for where segregated bike paths should be built. If the speed limit is 50km/h or higher, there should be a segregated parallel bike path. If the speed limit is 30km/hr or lower, bikes can mix with cars or have painted bike lanes. (their common speed limit postings are 15, 30, 50, 60, 80, 100, 120 km/hr). In the Ottawa context, this means the City would not expect cyclists to play with trucks, buses, and cars on Scott-Albert but would build a segregated safe facility a la BikeWest.

— in some locations, it is possible to switch roads to being cyclist priority with cars the guest vehicle that must travel slowly and yielding always to cyclists.

— merchants will stop complaining about losing car parking spots for cycling facilities (lanes or parking spaces) when they appreciate the purchasing power of cyclists more than that of motorists. This is somewhat similar to what Geller said of Portland: when cycling hits a tipping point, merchants switch to catering for cyclists rather than cars as its cheaper (10+ bikes per single car parking spot).