No, Holland is no land of unicorns and candy cane trees, despite being below sea level, and filled with tulips, bicycles, and people who don't stop cycling for any kind of weather (except maybe if the polders fill up with water). This is why their expertise is particularly useful as an export, as the following videos demonstrate well.
Bicycle Rush hour now:
Rain doesn't stop them:
What's so special about the Dutch? Not much. They just happen to have lots of cycling infrastructure and have built up lots of cycling expertise over the last 100 hundred years. And I've been informed by folks at the City that they'll soon be coming to Toronto to share their experiences with planners here with the inaugural "Toronto ThinkBike Workshops":
The City of Toronto will be working with the Consulate of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, to host Dutch bicycle planners on September 20th and 21st.
The Dutch have established themselves as world leaders, in the area of bicycle infrastructure design. Toronto and Dutch bicycle professionals will form two teams for this event. Each team will be given a Toronto problem to solve, with results unveiled at a free public event Tuesday September 21st, 6-8 pm. Which team will develop the most exciting design solution? Come watch the presentations and vote.
El Mocambo - 2nd floor, 464 Spadina Ave. Tuesday September 21, 2010, 6:00 -8:00 pm
Free admission. Cash bar
I've been informed that the two "Toronto problems to solve" will include the Sherbourne corridor in a conversion to separated bike facilities and the other will be in finding a preferred east-west corridor downtown - likely Richmond or Adelaide.