I think the bike ambassadors from the NH should have tailored their presentation a bit better to the audience. A sizable chunk of the talk was basically "look how totally awesome a bike friendly the Netherlands is", but that doesn't need to be said to an audience made up of avid cyclists and transportation workers. I wish more time would have been devoted to how Dutch infrastructure can be applied locally, the cost specifications, ways to adequately slow traffic, etc.
This seminar was in part a reconnaissance project, primarily in that many of the slides presented were accompanied with an explanation that they'll go into more detail about this and that at the workshops. Maybe a rep from Active Trans knows if this was meant as an introduction to further specialized workshops and if those workshops will be held locally or as part of their traveling seminar.
There was also a pretty heavy blanket of male influence over the event. A gleaming example that sticks out was that while on a slide showing a woman loading a bike onto the upper level of a 2-tier bike rack in Germany, the speaker said "even a girl can do it". Does that really need to be said, especially by a representative from a country in which women make up a full half of the cycling population?
Sorry to be a debbie downer. I took away from it some useful stats but no real concrete ideas as to how this will apply to Chicago or if anyone in the bureaucracy intends to implement this info.
That's right: the only woman speaker was from the Chicago DOT; the Dutch were all men. Is it because Queen Beatrix prefers male company?
Jokes aside, I really don't see how anything approaching European in general and Dutch in particular bicycling infrastructure is achievable here. The moron politicians who recently accused bike sharing programs in subversion of our "democracy" by the United Nations do, actually, have a point: changes like that would require broad social readjustments. I don't think a long-temr "bike-ability" could be based purely on one or another bureaucrat's will or "free market" forces or donations, however generous.
Pedaling revolution needs social revolution. And vice versa?