Sarnia delegation invited to Netherlands to learn from Dutch cycling cities

Volunteers with nuSarnia installing a temporary protected bike lane. August 2022. (Photo provided by nuSarnia)

A Sarnia delegation is being invited to Europe next summer to learn from the best Dutch cycling cities.

The nuSarnia Foundation is offering private funding to the mayor, each city council member, and key staff members to meet with the Dutch Cycling Embassy at its City Builder’s Symposium.

In a video presentation, Executive Director Tristan Bassett said Sarnia’s engineering department is already working remotely with the group on infrastructure projects, and the Active Transportation Master Plan.

“We seek to improve the quality of life in Sarnia, by advocating, and inspiring change, for mobility, walkability and togetherness in public spaces,” said Bassett.

nuSarnia was established less than four months ago, and Bassett said the organization already has hundreds of followers, supporters and advocates.

She said the trip will give the decision makers a first hand experience with the integrated transportation systems, helping them make confident decisions in future bicycle related policies.

Councillor Brian White welcomed the learning opportunity.

“This is an incredible opportunity where private residents of our community are willing to put their money upfront to try and ensure that the leadership of this community fully understands their position, fully understands opportunities that are before us as city builders and as advocates for all,” said White.

White said he’s grateful the foundation is offering a chance to get “as much knowledge as possible.”

“Being in a position where we can learn about ways that are different, that offer safety, and perhaps many more environmentally friendly ways of transiting through the community… I think it is an opportunity that really can’t be passed up.”

Councillor George Vandenberg, who noted his Dutch heritage, also said he was “fully supportive” of the idea.

Mayor Mike Bradley asked that staff check with the integrity commissioner, to ensure there are no issues with receiving the benefit.

The work study tour is being planned in the Netherlands from June 12-16, 2023.

Those invited to attend have been asked to confirm their interest by December 5.