One of the problems that occurs when all children cycle to school is that they tend to drop litter. Here's a solution to the problem: a "blikvanger" or "can catcher". On routes used by a lot of children to get to school you find these litter bins for cyclists to throw their litter into without stopping.
This is an older style cyclists rubbish bin, using a net instead of a metal cone, on a route north of Assen. The opening is about a metre wide, and the cycle path is 2.5 m wide. It's on a popular rural school route.
It also features on our article about how waste and recycling is dealt with in the Netherlands.
Update November 2009: This short piece in the local news paper about publicity surrounding an anti-litter campaign shows the size of these bins. The openings are a metre in diameter, so that even those with not such a good aim can get their litter into the bin while moving. If you're going to copy this initiative for your own city, you need to get the scale right !
This is one of those small things that makes a difference for cyclists.
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The less positive stuff What not to do if you want a cycling "revolution" - Long list of interventions and policies which are not helpful. Copy the best examples from the Netherlands - a short list summarising the above. Important to copy the best examples, not just anything "Dutch". Bear in mind that the Netherlands is not perfect. Shared Space - this much hyped idea simply does not work well. It disenfranchises the vulnerable and claims of safety are exaggerated. Don't confuse the concept with far more successful nearly car free streets. Shared Use Paths designed to be used by pedestrians and cyclists together. These rarely work well because the two user groups are too different and it leads to conflicts. They are not built in the Netherlands (but cycle access to pedestrianized zones is good). Strict (or presumed) liability - If you think this is an important part of why people cycle in the Netherlands then it is probably not what you think it is. Helmets - one of several ways of scaremongering about the supposed dangers of what is actually a very safe means of transport
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A cyclist in a cycling family living in the capital of the cycling province of the world's greatest cycling country.
I was born in the UK, lived for over 8 years in New Zealand and have lived in the Netherlands since 2007.
I organise cycling infrastructure study tours, run an online bicycle shop, arrange cycling holidays and write a popular blog about cycling.
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