My name is Marcel Kleizen. I was a bike messenger for several years (2011-2016) and set up a successful nationwide platform for all the bike courier companies in the Netherlands to become a collective parcel delivery company. At the moment I’m still professionally active in cycling logistics and I have my own little bike taxi company for Eritrean refugees. My motto is “Cycling makes the world more beautiful!”
How would you describe your mission?
Den Haag is a beautiful city on the Dutch coast and we can be much more ambitious about our cycling future. It can be the best cycling city in the Netherlands in 5 years from now! I’ll focus on making cycling in the city more inclusive, building a broader cycling community with a lot of positive energy and events in neighborhoods where cycling is less common. Another big goal is to encourage and help children and their parents to choose cycling over the car or other motorized transport in the city. My final focus point will be to give all the newcomers from other countries in Den Haag a very bike-friendly welcome.
What are the obstacles and challenges you’re facing in your city?
Den Haag is not a very safe city to cycle compared to other Dutch cities. This is an obstacle to getting more people, and especially children, cycling for instance. Besides this, nowadays our busy society doesn’t offer the environment of parents and children the time to learn cycling well.
What are your next steps now that you are the Bicycle Mayor?
Getting a good overview from the initiatives in Den Haag, the Netherlands and Europe, talk to professionals and volunteers involved in cycling and then: go with the flow!
What can other cities learn from your city?
My program is about creating social interaction and I try to use the bike as a tool to create this social interaction and a more equal community. On a bike we’re equal. Therefore, is there a better vehicle for creating connections?