Our local TV news reports that two special vehicles are being driven over the cycle-paths and minor roads of Drenthe this month. This is part of a €100000 project to map bumps, tree root damage and cracks so that they can be fixed over 3000 km of cycle-path and mostly car free roads in the province.
Two lasers mounted on the back of the car analyze the surface to assess comfort for cyclists and lead to better maintenance in future.
Drenthe wants to keep its title of "cycling province number one", and there is always more to do. Last year, €3 million was allocated for maintenance of cycle-paths. Those responsible for tourism see investment in cycle-paths as an investment in the province itself, and part of what brings a billion euros per year due to tourism.
Conditions for cycling keep on getting better in the Netherlands.
To book a holiday in the "cycling province number one" of the Netherlands, see our holidays website.
The Dutch have a saying, "Meten is weten" - measuring is knowing. i.e. Unless you measure something you don't actually know it. Measuring problems in this way is necessary not because the cycle-paths are bad, but in order to keep them to a very good standard. Cycling policy in the Netherlands relies on accurate measurements being made of all aspects of cycling (also of the numbers of bikes).
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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.
My email address is email@example.com