Susan Stokhof believes that the City of Victoria needs to learn from the Dutch about creating a healthy bike culture. (File contributed/ Susan Stokhof)

Susan Stokhof believes that the City of Victoria needs to learn from the Dutch about creating a healthy bike culture. (File contributed/ Susan Stokhof)

Look to the Dutch for better bike networks, says Victoria cyclist

Online bike shop owner studied cycle-based urban planning in Amsterdam

A Victoria woman says the problem with cycling in Victoria isn’t the bike lanes, it’s the whole culture and dialogue around cycling, and the solution is to look to the Dutch.

Susan Stokhof is the owner of an online bike accessory boutique, Le Velo, and recently studied bike-focused urban planning in Amsterdam. From her studies, Stokhof said the city needs to re-examine how they brand cycling.

READ MORE: City reflects on bike lane construction

“I want to bring the concept of normalizing cycling to Victoria,” Stokhof said. “The city is kind of divided between people who want to ride bikes and see more bike lanes and other people who ride in cars.”

Marketing to the normal, every day cyclist is key, she added.

“Cycling is not just for sport or just to ride to work…The 90 per cent who are curious about riding a bicycle cannot see themselves dressed in spandex,” Stokhof said, “There’s a big population the city has missed as far as messaging. They have to market biking in the city as if it were a pair of Nike shoes.”

WATCH: City approves Wharf, Humboldt Street bike lanes

Stokhof said during her studies she had the chance to cycle in the heart of Amsterdam, something she was extremely nervous to do because of high traffic.

“There were literally hundreds of people around me,” she said, adding almost no one wore helmets. “But it was perfectly fine because politicians are putting pedestrians and cyclists firsts, and the car is the guest.”

Stokhof added that while she loves having protected bike lanes to get around the city, Victoria’s lanes present a more narrow, North American design of an All Ages and Abilities network. Stokhof hopes the bi-directional tracks could turn into one-way tracks to flow with traffic as the cycling infrastructure grows.

“Six and eight year-old kids are not riding alone in the protected tracks because the network isn’t complete,” she said, adding that when it is done there is the potential for kids to navigate themselves to get to school.

Stokhof is scheduled to speak with City of Victoria planners at the end of October to share her experiences in Amsterdam, and show them examples of what can be done with a European influence.

On her priority list is creating a healthy liveable city, which would include closing off Government Street to cars on most hours of the day and creating more green spaces. She also believes lowering speed limits in high traffic areas is mandatory to make sure that cyclists stay safe.

“People, the soft squishy ones, should have priority on the streets,” she said.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

idth=“75%”>

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

bike lanesbiketoriaCity of Victoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Allayah Yoli Thomas had recently turned 12 years old when she died of a suspected drug overdose April 15. (Courtesy of Adriana Londono)
Suspected overdose death of Saanich girl, 12, speaks to lack of supports, says mom

Allayah Yoli Thomas was found dead by her friend the morning of April 15

The Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors in July 2021. (Malahat SkyWalk photo)
Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors this July

Highly anticipated attraction will take guests 250m above sea level

Illegal goods seized in the simultaneous April 23 busts in Saanich and Sooke. (Courtesy of West Shore RCMP)
RCMP drug busts net trucks, cocaine, cash and Hells Angels gear

Simultaneous searches coordinated between West Shore, Saanich and Sooke police

The Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre on Wilkinson Road in Saanich. (Black Press Media file photo)
Police watchdog investigates after man found unresponsive at Saanich jail

Man was in Victoria police custody the day before being found

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O���Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you plan to travel on the Victoria Day long weekend?

It’s the unofficial start to the summer season. A time of barbecues,… Continue reading

More than 6,000 camping reservations in British Columbia were cancelled as a result of a provincial order limiting travel between health regions. (Unsplash)
1 in 4 camping reservations cancelled in B.C. amid COVID-19 travel restrictions

More than 6,000 BC Parks campsite reservations for between April 19 and May 25 have been revoked

B.C. average home price and sales level to 2023, showing steep drop in sales expected next year. (Central 1)
Forecast calls for B.C. home sales to ‘explode,’ then drop off

Average price to rise another 10% in 2021, credit unions say

Members of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. (File photo)
B.C.-wide #DayOfMusic to feature 100-plus free virtual concerts May 15

‘Our colleagues across the province have figured out new ways to perform and connect,’ VSO boss says

Two passengers were recently fined thousands of dollars after they faked their pre-flight COVID-19 test results. (Paul Clarke/Black Press)
2 passengers in Canada fined thousands for faking pre-flight COVID-19 tests

The government issued a warning Thursday to others thinking of doing the same – do it and you’ll be ordered to pay

(File)
With revenge porn on the rise in 2021, B.C. seeks feedback for new legislation

New legislation could help victims take down images and receive compensation

Port Alberni RCMP are investigating a homicide on Third Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
RCMP investigating homicide in Port Alberni apartment

Investigators are still trying to determine the identity of the deceased

Most Read