Bicycle Innovation Lab: Diederik Basta

“The car makes way for the bicycle.”

The Bicycle Innovation Lab asks for ideas to improve the social safety of cyclists. A jury consisting of five professionals evaluates the entries. Diederik Basta is Project Manager Smart Mobility at the Municipality of Amsterdam, and he is one of the jury members. What does he think of this years theme 'social safety', and what elements does he find important when assessing the ideas? In this article, we briefly introduce Diederik.

What is your affinity with the bicycle?

“First of all, I use my bicycle a lot for transportation - I go everywhere by bicycle. In my work at the municipality of Amsterdam, I am mainly concerned with innovations in mobility. The bicycle plays a significant role in this. For the past five years I have been working on innovations in mobility. For example, think of technical innovations and data exchanges. In addition, I have been very busy with the social side of mobility, and the issue of how we behave in traffic. Currently, I am working on the Amsterdam mobility vision for 2050, in which the bicycle plays a significant role.”

What experiences do you have with social safety on the bicycle paths?

“If you look at safety in general, I definitely think there is a challenge. In particular, different speeds on the cycle paths pose challenges. I think the social side of cycling is more complex, because it's mainly about a subjective feeling or experience. For example, I can imagine that cycling at night can feel unsafe for some people.

In the past, together with the municipality and other parties, we conducted a study where people could point out where and when an unsafe situation occurred by calling a hotline. That way, we could collect different data points and quickly see which places were problematic. The municipality could look in those places and assess the situations. In my opinion, such interventions can also be used in social insecure situations.

As a cyclist you are more vulnerable than other road users. We will have to involve all other road users to improve general safety, but perhaps also social safety. Many target groups are involved in improving traffic situations, which makes this theme challenging.”

What is important to you as a jury member when judging the submissions?

“Well, I am of course involved with the Bicicle Innovation Lab, because of my involvement with the innovation team of the Municipality of Amsterdam. That's why I will look at the submissions with an 'innovation eye'. I will look at whether a submission is really innovative and whether or not it is also achievable. Especially important to me is if a solution contributes to the transition challenge we are currently experiencing – a transition from the car to more sustainable forms of mobility.”

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