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

Langford council approved the 2021 budget request of $5,268,635 from the West Shore Parks and Recreation Society Tuesday night. Of the proposed budget, Langford was asked to contribute an increased amount of $158, 651, as the municipality’s growth rate was higher than other municipal partners on the West Shore. (Black Press Media file)
Langford approves $2.8M for West Shore Parks and Recreation

Unanimous budget approval required by all West Shore partner municipalities

Greg Chow is the 2021 Local Hero of the Year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Fighting fire a family affair for Colwood Assistant Chief Greg Chow

With 38 years of service, Greg Chow is the 2021 Hero of the Year

The Gordon Head Recreation Centre stands in as the Quimper Regional Hospital on Feb. 23 for filming Maid, a 10-part Netflix series. (Greg Sutton/District of Saanich)
Netflix transforms Saanich recreation centre into hospital for filming

Facility was closed to public Feb. 23 for filming of Maid

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

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 Feb. 23

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

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

A Nanaimo RCMP vehicle in the Woodgrove Centre parking lot. (News Bulletin file photo)
Woman groped by stranger in mall parking lot in Nanaimo

Incident happened near bus loop Saturday, Feb. 20, at about 4:45 p.m.

A 19-year-old man is in police custody following a recent violent robbery and assault in Comox . (File photo)
Arrest made in violent robbery and assault of Comox gas station employee

19-year-old man in police custody after incident where woman was putting things in her car

When his owner had knee surgery, Kevin, 2, was able to continue to go for walks thanks to volunteers from Elder Dog Canada. (Contributed photo)
B.C. woman has nothing but praise for Elder Dog Canada

National organization has a fleet of volunteer walkers ready, but needs more clients to serve

Most Read