Fietsberaadpublication 11c: Ethnic minorities and bicycle policyPaul van Beek, Jasper Hoogeland en Karijn Kats (Goudappel Coffeng) en Karin Broer (free-lance , Fietsberaad
This publication provides a survey of various attempts by authorities to promote bicycle use among ethnic minorities. Suggestions for new measures are provided as well.
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In this third Fietsberaad report on autonomous developments and bicycle use the position of ethnic minorities in bicycle policy is highlighted. Do regional and local authorities posses at present any specific policies aimed at promoting bicycle use among ethnic minorities? And if so, to which measures has this led or may this lead?
Chapter 2 discusses current policy practices. Most remarkable conclusions are:
* With the exclusion of several major cities, there is little attention for the low average bicycle use among ethnic minorities. At the national level the attention is similarly minimal;
*Cycling lessons, in particular for women from ethnic minorities, are widespread. These are mainly initiated by neighbourhood activities and local welfare departments;
* Quality and continuity of cycling lessons are better guaranteed if within towns the departments concerned are more in contact and combine means and know-how.
* Experiences in the programme ‘Meedoen allochtone jeugd door sport’ by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports may be used for developing bicycle policies targeted at ethnic minorities. National authorities will function as inspiration/promoter. Regional and local authorities may join in.
* The possibilities to acquaint ethnic minorities with Dutch bicycle culture through naturalisation courses are not fully exploited. Both at national and local levels authorities should encourage this.
Chapter 3 considers the causes of lower bicycle use by ethnic minorities and possible measures to promote cycling. The various causes discussed often boil down to cultural differences. This concerns issues like image and availability of bicycles, insufficient knowledge of cycling opportunities, limited cycling abilities, preconceptions about traffic safety and presence of alternative transport .
Broadly speaking three types of likely measures can be distinguished:
* cycling lessons;
* increasing bicycle availability;
* promotion and communication about bicycles.
These three types of measures may best be combined into a single coherent approach.
Chapter 3 also provides for each type of measure specific tools. Local authorities may tackle improving bicycle availability and organising cycling lessons themselves. This is rather more complicated in the case of effective promotional and communicational strategies. In general local authorities do not posses sufficient know-how and experience for image-influencing campaigns. Moreover it is sometimes preferable to integrate campaigns aimed at ethnic minorities into general cycling campaigns. Campaigns like that are (still) rare. It is therefore recommended to first gain experience in one or several pilots with financial support by national authorities.
In addition the following recommendations are made:
Embed bicycle policy
Arrange good embedding at a local level. There are various motives for promoting bicycle use by ethnic minorities (health, environment, social participation, congestion reduction) and as such various policy departments are involved. It is necessary to ensure harmony in order to prevent the subject from falling between two stools. Good embedding provides more guarantees for continuity and quality.
The future for youngsters
Target specifically youngsters. By playfully promoting cycling this will become a habit and the youngsters, parents of the future, will have cycling experience. An additional advantage is the fact that youngsters can be directly approached through primary schools. Beside primary-school children youngsters in secondary education (both native and non-native) are important targets, as bicycle use steeply falls after age 18.
An approach targeting children may give rise to a spin-off targeting their parents. Ideally parents from ethnic minorities (having successfully completed cycling lessons) are used for assisting in cycling lessons, by way of naturalisation practice.
Cherish the cycling lessons
At present cycling lessons are the only specific measures being widely and successfully executed. Cherish therefore these initiatives and try to support these, mostly volunteer-driven projects. For instance by providing bicycles and bicycle parking space, arranging publicity and professionalizing the teachers.
Bicycle lessons for immigrants meet a need. This is the conclusion of experiences in Amsterdam and Tilburg.
Otto van Boggelen (Fietsberaad) en Robert Jansen (Goudappel Coffeng) , Fietsberaad
General prognoses of the possible consequences of aging and the increase in the number of immigrants on bicycle use.
English summary of Dutch report 'Fietsberaad publicatie 11a. Het fietsgebruik van allochtonen nader belicht '.