Patrick goes Dutch

What can the Dutch teach New Zealand about cycling and street design?

That's what cycling advocate Patrick Morgan will find out at the Planning the Cycling City summer school in Amsterdam this month.

He is one of thirty people from around the world selected for the three week programme.

Mr Morgan says New Zealand cities are struggling with congestion, pollution and unsafe streets.

Basic maths tells us it's not possible to cram more cars into cities. That's why cities are investing in giving people more transport choices. I aim to find out how cities are solving congestion by providing world-class public transport, and more space for people cycling, walking and scooting.”

He says the programme focuses on the social science aspects of transport.

When we walk down the footpath, there are no signs telling us to keep left or not to bang into others. Humans are pretty good at avoiding crashes. Low speeds are the key factor that makes this possible.”

But at motor traffic speeds, we rely on road rules, licensing, signs and enforcement. Unfortunately, that system doesn't work very well, and crashes are far too common. We must fix that.”

I aim to learn more about how streets function in a mature cycling country such as the Netherlands. I will examine how e-bikes and scooters fit in. How are freight and deliveries accommodated? How do you provide parking for 10,000 bikes? And what are the lessons for New Zealand?”

Mr Morgan says thanks are due to NZ Lottery Grants, Cycling Action Network donors, and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands for their support.

Patrick Morgan, Tel 027 563 4733

Release Date: 
Thursday, 6 June, 2019