As original organizers of the World Car Free Days movement, we are always attentive to finding ways to make real use out of these generally festive occasions. We have been working consistently on this task since the first program announcement in Toledo Spain at a major European conference in October 1994 under the title of “Thursday: A breakthrough strategy for reducing car dependence in cities“. (See http://wp.me/psKUY-U9)
This year we are proposing that considering cities may give some thought to the possibility of organizing a special core Car Free Day event — specifically intended to examine, encourage and support cycling in cities. Where they are practiced a Car Free Day is seen as an occasion to step back and think together about how your city is doing. And this year we are proposing at the core of the other planned CFD events the idea of a “Civil Society State of City Cycling Self-audit” — in order to provide independent background and perspective on the state of safe and abundant cycling in their city. The following posting sets out the latest proposal for the “self-audit”.-
By Friso Metz, CROW-KpVV, the Netherlands
Recently a medium sized Dutch city asked my counsel about carsharing. The city wants to promote carsharing and is looking for ideas. While discussing with the city officials and their marketeers, we discovered a particular issue in carsharing. I explained that an average parking bay for carsharing in the Netherlands only shows a sign explaining that it’s intended uniquely for carsharing. The road surface shows a white cross which tells you that it is prohibited to park there (unless you are driving the shared vehicle).
The one point not as yet clear in the provisional program notes developed to now is how, when and by whom exactly does the actual self-audit or benchmarking exercise take place. This is a matter for each city team to work out for themselves, but here are some first suggestions based on our past experience.
1. Start here
Once the first group of participants have been contacted and informed in advance concerning the project idea and proposed approach, the usual next step is to organize a first plenary meeting as early as convenient and convene the various key groups and individuals who know most about cycling their city as daily cyclists, and then going step by step through the 20 point questionnaire to examine and discuss what the consensus of the meeting could be concerning each of the benchmarks. (It is useful to make sure that the key documents are distributed in advance so that members of the group will have a chance to reflect on and organize their thoughts on each of the key issues under discussion.)
This is an interim report with suggested guidelines and background for organizing city cycling self-audits and events in support of cycling as a principle theme of World Car Free Days events in 2014.
As original organizers of the World Car Free Days movement, we are always attentive to finding ways to make real use out of these generally festive occasions. We have been working consistently on this task since the first program announcement in Toledo Spain at a major European conference in October 1994 under the title of “Thursday: A breakthrough strategy for reducing car dependence in cities“.
This year we are proposing that considering cities may give some thought to the possibility of organizing a core Car Free Day event specifically to encourage cycling in cities, and in particular at the core of the CFD events and preparations to encourage cities to conduct and share a “self-audit” in order to provide background and perspective on the state of safe and abundant cycling in their city.
The latest cut of this posting is available at https://worldstreets.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/revised-guidelines-for-2014-cfd-state-of-city-cycling-self-audit/
(First draft for review and comment)
In the following we take as our point of departure the 13 categories and their 0-4 scoring system of the well-known Copenhagenize Index for Bicycle Friendly Cities, which they have developed over the last half decade for the purpose of their very successful triennial survey and benchmarking exercise looking at more than 100 cities on all continents. World Streets recently published a summary article on this which you can find at http://wp.me/psKUY-3Gn.
Bearing in mind that the approach proposed here as a benchmarking activity in support of Car Free Day events has another set of objectives. For starters it is intended to create a base for (a) an independent self-audit to be finalized and then lead by concerned civil society groups (NGOs, user and environmental groups, etc.) in each city. And beyond this (b) the eventual possibility for sharing results with other cities and groups interested in and/or cooperating directly with the 2014 collaborative project.
Another characteristic of this approach is that the materials you find here are simple suggestions, and it is anticipated that while some cities and groups will work with this more or less as it stands, in many cases we will be seeing different choices of categories, scoring and weighting systems. Each team will decide what works best for them. And what works best for them is what works best for all of us.
The following is intended to provide for our readers a useful overview of the cycling component of the EC’s European Mobility Week, with a view to being useful both for cycle planning and programs and eventually as background for the planned city cycle audit activity presently being discussed as a possible component of a certain number off cooperating cities’ 2014 Car Free Days. This information has been extracted from their European Mobility Week Handbook which is available at http://goo.gl/ahWEyO