Did you know that today Houten was choosen as the best Bicycle City (‘Fietsstad’ in Dutch) in the Netherlands?
The election for best Bicycle City 2018 is based on a survey completed by over 45,000 people in which they gave their opinion about cycling in their municipality; from annoying bollards to bicycle theft and detour factors. The Top 5 cities were also assessed by a panel of experts.
Bicycle City Houten
This is the second time that Houten wins the title. The town in the province of Utrecht won the first place in 2008 as well. Eversince, Houten has not been idle. Urban planners and traffic professionals from all over the world travel to Houten for inspiration.
Houten’s traffic model is unique worldwide. A ring road runs around Houten. If you want to drive in a motorized vehicle from one district to another, you have to use the ring road. However, cyclists can conveniently cross the city through an extensive network of cycle paths.
Also, an innovative bicycle transfer facility was built at Houten train station, which allows cyclists to seamlessly transfer onto a train. The bicycle parking is right below the tracks.
Top 10 Dutch Bicycle Cities
1 Houten (winner)
2 Veenendaal (nominee)
3 Zoetermeer (nominee)
4 Winterswijk (nominee)
5 Etten-Leur (nominee)
Dutch Cyclists’ Union
The Dutch Cyclists’ Union (‘Fietsersbond’ in Dutch) strives for better cycling conditions in the Netherlands. Since the foundation in 1975 their goal is to keep the Netherlands a safe and happy cycling country.
Houten is a commuter town about 15km southeast of Utrecht city. The municipality of Houten has 49,395 inhabitants (April 2017). There are two railway stations: Houten and Houten Castellum. Both stations are served by local trains to Utrecht (northbound) and Geldermalsen/Tiel (southbound).
There are also two castles near Houten: Castle Heemstede (currently a restaurant) and Castle Schonauen (usually not open to the public).