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Environment Week enhanced with ‘Go Green Go Dutch Go Bike’ initiative
‘Paddestoel’ signpost in Ottawa scenery
Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill
OTTAWA, Ontario - Cyclists in and around various Canadian cities were invited to join the local ‘Go Green Go Dutch Go Bike’ event, hosted by officials at the Netherlands Embassy in Ottawa and Consulates General in Toronto and Vancouver and by Consulates in other places. The events draw attention to the Dutch bicycle experience, which has been woven into the cultural fabric of the Netherlands.
The bicycle has increasingly gained a role in Dutch society, even not withstanding the onslaught of motorized traffic. There is no doubt that the extensive bicycle path system, which is the envy of bicycling enthusiasts throughout the world, has helped the bicycle to survive and thrive as a form of transportation in a world addicted to speed and convenience. The paths usually run parallel to highways and are rated exceptionally safe and conducive for pedal-powered commuting. According to Dutch embassy officials, Ottawa rates as a wonderful city for bicyclists, especially during the summer. They note that aside from taking a better look at the surroundings and nature, the advantages of cycling are its sustainability, its affordability, its positive influence on health, on quality of life and its ability to avoid traffic jams.
Even the Dutch Royal family appreciates its bicycles and cabinet ministers are seen arriving at work with files strapped to their bicycle’s carrier. Dutch officials are quite willing to show local people how they experience Canada on a bicycle. For example, Ambassador Wim Geerts recently was scheduled to lead by example in Ottawa, taking participants via the Pretoria bridge to the west side of the Bank Street bridge where he was to officially unveil an original Dutch "mushroom" signpost, found all over in the Netherlands to direct bicycle and foot traffic. Ambassador Geerts presented one such ANWB paddestoel to the City of Ottawa before moving on towards Dow's Lake and a finish at the memorial statue of the Man with Two Hats.
This Ottawa bicycle event was part of a Canada wide bicycle program. Other events were scheduled for Toronto, Fredericton, London, Winnipeg, and Dunnville as well as Vancouver.
The initiative coincided with Canada’s Environment Week. The purpose of this event is to promote cycling as a fun, practical and, above all, an environmentally friendly way of transportation.