A Casual Stroll Through The Hague – Part 1: Daddy Bike

Reading Time: 3 minutes I am in Holland in Den Haag (The Hague) for work this week. Locked up in meetings and presentations for most of the day for 5 days in a row, I was eager to go for a walk to visit a friend.  Tuesday afternoon I had a change to leave a wee early and walked from the Crowne Plaza (which has been renovated from kind of Modernist to a large I phone retro Modernist, with shag carpets, pink under the bar atmospheric lights and lots of white, a work counter/bar and a couple of Apple computers for Internet access). For [Read more…]

Ramping up the Ramps

Reading Time: 6 minutes Ottawa City council gets input from several advisory groups (soon to be abandoned apparently) on specific issues. One of those groups is called the Roads and Cycling Advisory Committee aka RCAC. RCAC has 9 members at large and 3 representatives from the cycling community, amongst others the Ottawa Bicycle Club and Citizens for Safe Cycling. This is a valuable channel for citizens to stay in touch with decision makers. The City of Ottawa’s website says the following about RCAC: The mandate of the Roads and Cycling Advisory Committee is to provide advice and guidance to Ottawa City Council and its [Read more…]

Cycling in the snow….

Reading Time: 3 minutes It doesn’t happen too often, but Holland was covered in snow late last week. Cyclists kept cycling, resulting in some really nice pictures of cyclists in the snow. If the “inexperienced-with-snow” Dutch can do it, teens included, we Canadians can no longer use the argument of a snowy country as a reason not to cycle. Enjoy the screen shots from the nu.nl website I took this weekend. You will notice few cars in the pictures, as many cyclists are separated from faster traffic on special bike paths or cycle through city centres with traffic calming measures. Many kids cycle to [Read more…]

bus shelter Rijssen

Rain Sensor for Dutch Cyclists – “Braille” for the Viennese Pedestrian

Reading Time: 2 minutes No more seeking shelter in this bus stop for this Dutch family when rain threatens. Picture: Urban Commuter Ottawa Dutch city of Groningen councillor Karin Dekker activated the first rain sensor in the city with the highest bike modal share in the world. The sensor measures rain and snow. If precipitation is measured, the traffic light cycle changes, so that cyclists get green lights more often. If the test is successful, more bicycle friendly traffic lights will follow in 2012. The rain sensor is already implemented in the Dutch province of Noord-Brabant. When it is raining ánd the temperature is [Read more…]

Bikeway image by Dennis Leung - Ottawa Citizen

Whoosh!

Reading Time: 5 minutes You probably read already that Ottawa city staff is designing a bike way through the city. Some will argue that it is yet another example of a waste of tax payer’s money (as if $220,000,000 for the Queensway isn’t), but the reality is, that it will be a long term gain. The idea behind a bike way is to create a safe corridor for cyclists from one end of town to the other end. It will feed commuters into the down town as well as encouraging more people to take their bike to get across town for errands. Or to get around their own [Read more…]

Rethinking Sparks Street: 7 Necessary Changes to Bring Back the Spark

Reading Time: 6 minutes I used to walk more or less the same loop during my lunch time hour and Sparks Street was mostly included. But since the Laurier bike Lane is in place, I have changed my route and abandoned Sparks. Laurier is livelier, and with the bike lane in place, there is not only more to see in terms of cyclists, there are also some nice restaurants. The Persian Express has become a hang out for meetings for me as they offer nice food for a relatively low price (all you can eat buffet) and they have a three season terrace. Presse Café [Read more…]

Ottawa Moves – part 1/3 – Gil Peñolosa: 8-80 cities

Reading Time: 4 minutes On November 2 and 3, the City of Ottawa organised a two day series of speakers and work shop on DOMO, the Downtown Ottawa Mobility Overlay. As DOMO is a bit of non-descriptive acronym, it is now called “Downtown Moves”. And moving it will. With the new Light Rail eventually in place, thousands of people will appear above ground at the same time, only to find three feet side walks in many places. It is hard to believe that a complete tunnel and underground track, including stations, will be ready before the 150th anniversary of Canada in 2017, when turning a [Read more…]

Cycling to a Canadian War Cemetery in the Netherlands

Reading Time: 5 minutes My parents went through World War 2 in the Netherlands, but were too young to really remember. They were 6 and 9 when the war was over. My mom remembers planes dropping ‘Swedish whitebread” and my dad remembers they had to leave the house as the Germans were at one end and the Allied forces at the other end; my dad’s family was in the line of fire. Nowadays, our biggest worries are empty cell phone batteries and status updates on Twitter. Last summer, we visited the Netherlands. It may sound odd, but I haven’t seen much of the country, [Read more…]

Dog on bike

Reading Time: < 1 minute This is kind of the ultimate Dutch bike picture. Lady who lives in the town of Bergschenhoek, a 10 minute bike ride from Rotterdam, carries her dog around in a basket on her bike. But not only that, she also has two panniers, a bag hanging off her bars and a seat cover (that is supposed to keep her seat dry when the bike is out and it rains). And of course, no helmet….