Headed to Europe to learn about great bike cities

Headed to Europe to learn about great bike cities

I hope to see this magnificent, suspended
bicycle path in Eindhoven (as seen in this month’s
National Geographic!).

Finally. After years of covering bike projects and policies, I’m going to Europe to observe, research, and document the world’s leading bicycle-friendly cities. At the end of this month I leave for a two-week trip that will include time in Copenhagen, Utrecht, Amsterdam, and more.

This trip came about thanks to an invite from the City of Portland to join a delegation put together by PBOT (with the blessing of Mayor Charlie Hales). Myself and three others in the delegation will represent Portland as part of a study tour put together by the Green Lane Project. As I’ve covered here in the past, the Green Lane Project is an effort funded by the national advocacy group Bikes Belong to hasten the development of protected bikeways in America. Portland is one of six cities chosen for the initiative.

Joining me on the study tour will be:

  • Sam Chase, Metro Councilor (Portland)
  • Gerik Kransky, Bicycle Transportation Alliance
  • Heather Hoell, Venture Portland
  • Heath Maddox, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Livable Streets Section
  • Leona Bridges, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors
  • Len Matz, Mayor’s Office of Workforce and Economic Development (San Francisco)
  • Kate Howard, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, Office of Mayor Edwin Lee
  • Sarah Reiter, Saris Cycling Group
  • Simon Dunne, Specialized Bicycle Components Global Advocacy Manager
  • Jessica Hererra, Transportation Program Manager, Facebook
  • Martha Roskowski, Bikes Belong Foundation Green Lane Project Director
  • Zach Vanderkooy, Bikes Belong Foundation International Programs Manager
  • Jenn Dice, Bikes Belong Foundation

During the trip we’ll learn from bike planners and leaders in the cities of Utrecht, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. (I also hope to take a day trip to Eindhoven to see the Hovenring of course!) You can see the full agenda and more details on the study tour here.

Before my duties with the delegation begin in Utrecht on June 2nd, I’ve booked a trip to Copenhagen. I plan to spend a week in that “City of Cyclists“. While in Copenhagen, I’ll soak up as much as I can about its famous bike network, while documenting the places and people that make it such an amazing city for bicycling.

Come to think of it, this trip will take me to the top three, and four of the top 10 most bike friendly cities in the world according to the recently released Copenhagenize Index.

These are remarkable places from a transportation culture standpoint, and I know this trip will broaden my perspectives in exciting ways. I have read and learned a lot about these leading cities over the years, but there truly is no substitute for first-hand experience.

This is a big trip for me. It will take me away from my family and my Portland beat for over two weeks. I’ll also, unfortunately, miss the big World Naked Bike Ride and gathering at the Portland Art Museum on June 8th. But this was a great opportunity, and I didn’t want to pass it up (all my expenses are paid for by Bikes Belong for the second half the trip).

I don’t leave until May 26th, but I wanted to let everyone know to expect lots of stories and photos from these awesome bike cities in a few weeks. I hope you’ll enjoy following along!

Note: I’ll be seeking sponsorship for this trip from 1-2 companies. If you’re interested or have questions about that, please get in touch.

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