The municipality of Houten has been awarded the honourable title of Cycling City 2018! This was announced by Stientje van Veldhoven, State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management on a cycle congress in Utrecht. Houten has won this title before, in 2008. It has the advantage of being designed with the bicycle in mind from the start, but that does not mean this title is a given. Houten only got it again, because it continues to cater well for its cycling population. It was their satisfaction and enthusiasm, speaking to the jury from the results of a large-scale public survey, that mainly led to this new title.
The cycling network of Houten on a sign in the streets. Houten has been awarded the title because the residents of the town were very positive about it in a survey.
Previously I wrote a lot about the earlier elections ahead of the award ceremony. This time I had to be silent as I was honoured with a place in the jury. I was not able to give you a portrait of the five nominees without giving too much away about the jury’s view of each of these nominees. To make up I did make a video about the winner Houten, that you can see in this post!
Houten’s main street from the new town centre to the railway station is only for people walking and cycling. No motor vehicles are allowed in this area.
As you will be able read in the jury report, that I translated for you in English, the members of the jury were a bit disappointed that we didn’t get to experience the cycling in the nominated municipalities first hand. I was the lucky jury member who happened to have cycled in 3 of the 5 nominated towns. I also know 4 of the nominees well. I only never visited Winterswijk. However, in this particular election we were asked to look at what the residents themselves found, combined with some objective facts. Even so, we felt that we needed to extend that task by trying to find more hard facts that would support the views of the residents; to make the decision better.