Who will win Bicycle City of the Year 2014?
On four previous occasions, the Fietsersbond (Dutch Cyclists' Union) has awarded one Dutch city with the illustrious title of Fietsstad (Bicycle City) of the Year. But who will win the title in 2014?
Cities around the country are now preparing their bids. The four cities previously elected Fietsstad are Veenendaal (2000), Groningen (2002), Houten (2008), and Den Bosch (2011).
From long waits at red traffic lights to damaged pavement, cyclists encounter obstacles each day. Accordingly, the theme for Fietsstad 2014 is Fietsen zonder hindernissen (Bicycles without obstacles), and the winner will be the municipality that does the best job of clearing the way for cyclists.
According to the Fietsersbond project leader Jaap Kamminga, this theme is an important one to emphasise, because being able to travel comfortably and safely betweens Point A and Point B or not often determines whether people will cycle or leave their bikes at home.
Municipalities can already start signing up and submitting their bids, though they have until the summer of 2013 to do so to give them more time to formulate their plans.
The Hague, for example, has seen a 10 percent increase in the number of cyclists since 2006, and has included in its bid plans to improve cycling facilities so this number can rise to 30 percent by 2020.
You can read more about the competition (in Dutch) here and follow the competition on Twitter via username @Fietsstad2014.
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