Cycling at French Schools

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From 29th of May – 2nd of June, one expert of the City of The Hague participated in the national week of walking and cycling in France on behalf of the Dutch Cycling Embassy.

The week started with a demonstration of cycling lessons at La Profondine, an elementary school  in San Sebastien. The organization responsible for these lessons, Place au Velo, is a sort of local cycling union who is working for the interests of cyclists in the Nantes area. They have trained people to give cycling education at schools. 

After this demonstration, Ms. Jacqueline Pieters of the Municipality in The Hague gave a presentation to the director of the elementary school and to the chairman of Place au Velo about cycling education in The Hague in general and the local project ‘Veilig Leren Fietsen’ (Learn to Cycle Safe) in specific. This is a project where schools get a permanent traffic square at their school square together with educational material.

After lunch, a visit to Monzie, an elementary school in Nantes was planned. Mr. Hadrien Bedok of Nantes Metropole shared the adjustments the metropole region has done so far in order to improve traffic safety. The metropole-region will address €50 million for cycling projects, partially aiming at improving the situation at 50 schools. This will entail 50 schools the next 5 years. These schools will be analyzed in close cooperation with the schools and the parents.

In the late afternoon there was a meeting in the Centre des Expositions by the Nantes Metropole. A number of mayors and representatives of the 24 municipalities were present, and they elaborated on the plans by the local governments.

Place au Velo, Holland Bikes and S’Coolbus also gave presentations. The S’Coolbus is a transportation service for schoolkids, under responsibility of the municipality. Up to eight children can be picked up by a driver and brought to school, a swimming pool or a sports field. On this S’Coolbus, the children also need to peddle in order to move. Teachers and parents are really enthusiastic about this project.

The city of The Hague also gave a presentatoin on cycling in The Hague, Traffic Education and Traffic Safety around schools. On Tuesday morning, Bois St Louis, an elementary school in Orvault showed how the Metro Pieton works. The street near the school is being closed, parents can park a bit further from the schools and children can follow colored lines on the streets in order to walk to the school.

The visit was concluded with a reception the House of Sustainable Development (Maison du Developpement Durable) in Rezé. The expert from the city of The Hague also gave a presentation and the S’Coolbus was also demonstrated here.

The visit was perceived to be very successful and sharing insights and knowledge resulted in interesting meetings! 

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