The 2017 inaugural WINNIE award winners are:
Morten Kabell is Mayor for Technical and Environmental Affairs at the City of Copenhagen. Mr.Kabell was nominated by the Danish Cycling Federation and was ultimately chosen for, well, making Copenhagen even better. No small feat in a place where bicycle snowplows deploy within 45min of the first snowflake.. But apparently Mr.Kabell has won fans for taking “snow clearing on Copenhagen bike lanes to the next level. Apparently a new and more intelligent and efficient approach was introduced under his watch. They actually look where most cyclists are going and clear the snow in that order – and several times during the day if needed. Before there would be one fixed route.”
Zime Dorogu (Winter Roads)
It is fitting that the inaugural project award should go to a project that is all about fun, love and humour. Nadja Zherebina of Let’s Bike It! accepted the award for their project “Zime Dorogu”. Roughly translated in English to mean “Winter Roads”, this international animation contest is all about the pure joy of riding a bicycle in the snow. Just watch:
City of Calgary.
The City of Calgary was nominated by a swooning resident named Kevin. Now, if that’s not enough for you, remember that Winter Bike to Work Day is made possible by some pretty amazing non-profit organizations and people with incredible heart. Not everyone thinks of governments in such fuzzy terms, and quite a few well-deserving NGOs could have won this one, so it may seem odd to pick a government, but…. The City of Calgary won out because it really did stand out for doing some of the little things and the big things that cycling advocates everywhere ask for, well, right. This award goes literally to everyone, form the snowplow contractors to the Mayor. OK, maybe not to some councillors, but they will come around.
Calgary is not the first place that comes to mind for most people around the world when they think “sustainable winter transportation paradise”. Lovingly called “Houston North”, Calgary is an oil rich headquarter-bristled mostly-suburban post-war corporate boom-town known more affectionately in North America for its pickup trucks and real-life cowboys than for its bike infrastructure. Calgary, though, is now making people think twice. It may be precisely because of this reputation that so many people all across North America are happy to see Calgary “surprise” everyone and do so well. Quite a bit lies below the surface of Calgary, and if anyone could prove that cycling was possible in car culture” it may be them.
Not only did Calgary start rolling out a blanket of protected bike lanes across their entire downtown before neighbouring cities’ politicians could pronounce the word “sharrow”, Calgary started off by insisting that their new on-road bikeways had to be open and accessible year-round no matter what the weather. It meant measuring winter use and studying it. It meant constant snow clearing on their first tiny piece of “test” track. City staff took things seriously and they plan to continually improve. It is paying off. With the millionth trip on just their downtown network already far behind them and a recent vote to keep them permanent, Calgary’s newfound cycling craze is expected to grow and grow. Calgary has created a buzz that is reverberating across North America.