Zwolle action plan allows Zwolle residents to cycle even more

22 June 2021 - Published by Matteo Candelari

In 2014 Zwolle was named the best cycling city in the Netherlands. In almost no other city in the world people cycle more and more often than in Zwolle. Zwolle residents love to cycle to work, the supermarket or the city center. Many decades of bicycle investments and policy have made Zwolle a hospitable, vital, liveable and traffic-safe city for residents and visitors. The municipality wants to maintain and further develop this line. With the action plan Zwolle world bicycle city, the Municipal Executive has formulated a goal: 20% more bicycle kilometers in 2027 compared to 2017. In order to achieve this goal, various measures will be implemented in the coming period to encourage cyclists.

“The cyclist” does not have a standard profile.

The reasons why Zwolle residents use a bicycle differ from person to person: cycling is healthy, cheap, accessible and climate-friendly. To ensure that the threshold for cycling is as low as possible, we as a municipality provide safe routes and smooth connections. Because Zwolle wants to keep cycling accessible to everyone. In order to make that 20% increase possible, the municipality is focusing on the following main points:

  • We encourage residents to cycle even more often within the city (and the neighbourhoods) by continuing to work on safe and comfortable cycling routes and good facilities.
  • We will entice people from Zwolle to go to work by bicycle by promoting the bicycle for all distances up to approx. 15 km.
  • We make cycling to school attractive for children, schoolchildren and students and we are committed to ensuring that every child can cycle safely.
  • We provide attractive routes and boarding locations for walking and cycling for recreational and sporty cyclists.
  • We are committed to ensuring that cycling is accessible to everyone and will remain so.

Cycling takes you further

Cycling is healthy and important, for example as a form of tourism or relaxation and as a stimulus for the regional economy. And cycling contributes to (partly) achieving the objectives from the Environmental Vision and Mobility Vision. “For example, if we want the city to remain accessible to everyone, without traffic jams, we will have to make cycling and walking more attractive. By cycling more, we can improve the health of residents, the city remains accessible and we contribute to our climate goals," said deputy alderman Ed Anker.

Harnessing data and innovation

Data can help us to gain insight into use, road safety, air quality and cycling behavior in general. This requires knowledge in the field of bicycle innovations. That is why the municipality of Zwolle is a partner of the European Bicycle and Intelligent Transport Systems (BITS) project. Within this project we will carry out the following actions and pilots in the coming years:

  • We are testing the application of dynamic lighting at the Hessenpoort work location, coupled with the collection of cycling data.
  • We are going to introduce sensors in a number of places to give cyclists right of way at traffic lights
  • We are scaling up the sniffing bikes project, both in terms of the number of cyclists and the amount of data collected (for example, data on the quality of the road surface).
  • We are testing various innovations to increase the safety of cyclists at intersections. Of course it goes without saying that privacy is guaranteed.

Cyclists get plenty of space

Zwolle is an important mobility hub for the Zwolle region. In order to facilitate the growing traffic pressure from the city and region, it is important that we put extra effort into cycling and walking. In other words: cycling gives the city and its inhabitants more space. The municipality is already taking this into account in new plans. Cyclists and walkers are given ample opportunity in Zwolle.