It’s no secret that the Dutch have loads of progressive ideas and love doing things first. Think of the largest underground bike parking in the world, and bus stops that encourage honey bees. This year, to coincide with Pride Month, Utrecht will build the longest rainbow coloured bike path in the world.
The bike path will be 570 metres long, and will be located in the Utrecht Science Park.
Utrecht University, the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, and Utrecht University Medical Centre (UMC) have teamed up to make this a reality. They feel that the symbol really encompasses their values of diversity and inclusion. The bike path is there to spread the message that everyone is welcome to be who they are, even on a cycle lane.
Whose idea was this?
The idea of the rainbow bike path was inspired by Elias van Mourik, a 22-year-old student at the University of Applied Sciences in Utrecht. He initially gained support from a city council member of GroenLinks, Melody Deldjou Fard.
Melody told Utrecht University that, “I thought it was a great idea because the future of our country is taking shape in the Utrecht Science Park. And that’s exactly why it’s important to make diversity and inclusion explicitly visible here.”
When the municipality was unable to finance the idea. So Elias and Melody wrote an open letter to Utrecht University and the Utrecht University of Applied Sciences. The universities, along with the UMC, embraced the idea.
Where can you find the bike path?
Want to cycle the rainbow road? Once it’s completed, you’ll find it next to the multicoloured Hogeschool Utrecht building that houses the Department of Education, and at the intersection between Heidelberglaan and the Universiteitsweg/Bolognalaan.
Usually, you associate the rainbow flag with the LGBTQI+ community. However, all of the parties involved hope that the cycle path will represent diversity and inclusion in its broadest sense.
Elena Valbusa, the Diversity Officer at the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht reiterated this sentiment. “We want to show that everyone can be themselves and is welcome in the Utrecht Science Park,” she says.
Elias, the student who originally inspired the idea hopes that the bike path will contribute to greater acceptance. He also hopes that the symbol will encourage others to actively contribute to diversity and inclusion.
We can’t wait to cycle down what will (we’re sure) be the prettiest bike path in town!
Based on materials of DUTCHREVIWER