We need to be more like the Dutch- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    We need to be more like the Dutch

    Having watched a few videos on the dutch, I am amazed at how well their cities are set up for cycling. More bikes than people its so amazing, they have the right idea to fight dependance on fossil fuels, getting exercise, and getting from A to B with in a city.

    If only there were more bike only lanes in city centers and main road ways we could lessen our traffic jams. Shared lanes aren't enough people need to feel safe.

  2. #2
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    I agree with this. I am just happy to have some bike lanes now to ride within the city. I would love to have their cycling ecosystem.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  3. #3
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    Hybrids, EV's, Hydrogen, other fuels they may relieve the dependance on fossils fuels, but do nothing for congestion. Making cycling more accessible and safer solves congestion and fossil fuel consumption. We need to make gradual changes, and we need to start now.

    Cars are getting bigger and heavier and so are we.

  4. #4
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    That heavy comment is so true. The majority of people at work are morbidly obese. They no longer walk, they waddle and it is pretty sad to see.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

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    The comments above are all very true. We could also be more like the Dutch in terms of multilingualism as a point of pride and a part of business. It seems the biggest hurdle in North America is one of mindset and public opinion.

    When auto emissions regulations came into being in the US, American auto manufacturers hired lawyers to find loopholes in the laws while Japanese manufacturers hired engineers to build cars which met the standards.

    In seeking bicycle friendly cities, we are asking for a massive shift in behaviors and attitudes- which run contrary to decades of slick marketing from auto manufacturers and associated industries. Maybe we need a clever marketing campaign equating bicycles to freedom and reduced congestion as a starting point. Kona's videos might be working in the right direction, but are only reaching folks looking for a new bike.

  6. #6
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    Well, lawyers buy time, engineers buy progress. Both cost money and time. Getting in a car and pressing the gas is easy. Getting out the bike for a loaf of bread at the local convenience takes a bit of effort. It took the Dutch decades with the right mindset to set up their cities to be so bike friendly.

    We humans are highly adaptable, if we want to be. All it takes is for a Municipality to take a lane out here and their and turn it into a bike lane. Sure it might make a mass of motorists angry, but people will adapt. Heck some might even become cyclists. That is the way a change starts.

    Sure if we all cycled like the Dutch automotive type jobs will vanish, but a new batch of cyclist related industry will be created. Think of all the heart related and obesity related deaths we could prevent. These are the thoughts from a guy who thought the automobile was be all end all. The automobile has its purpose but we overuse it.

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    ^ Well put sir.

  8. #8
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    @snailspace:
    Did you just suddenly get Dutch fever from reading one of my posts by chance? If so I am glad I am making headway in the flat earth society of North American cyclists!

  9. #9
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    I think I have seen the yearning for something approaching this expressed in many threads over the years I have been here. Near collisions have a way of doing that. Great minds (and otherwise) often think in the same vein.

    Flat helps the Dutch a lot. Here is a nice bit of bike route:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qexhElAiqHo

  10. #10
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    American flat-earth society cyclist, stop making excuses. How come flat areas in the USA don't have Dutch modal shares? The Dutch starting in the 1970s in responses to children being maimed and killed on their streets demanded change. So they started building the world class cycling and pedestrian infastructure they have now. Now most residental streets are thru-traffic only for cars and with fairly low speed limits. Further many of these streets are one-way only for cars, but bicycles don't have the same restriction. They made cycling safe and in many ways more efficient and convenient than driving. So today 1/3rd or all trips in their country are taken by bicycle.

    Now please stop making stupid excuses and spreading disinfo and anti-cycling propaganda. If the USA had Dutch style infrastructure and laws, cycling would skyrocket from the very young to the very old.

  11. #11
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    Clearly, we all agree here that safer cycling is a benefit to all, and that flatter cycling is easier.

    The Dutch have been credited with the creation of an extensive middle class, private art holding, international trade facilitated by finance networks, and the camera obscura. This last invention allowed painters to see the world as it is, with a narrow focus, and produce an accurate representation, or modify one to suit their needs as artists.

    Roy- It looks like most of us here want better bike infrastructure, safer bike infrastructure, and fewer obstacles to new cycle- commuters. Nowhere in this thread (so far) will you find disinformation or anti- cycling propaganda. We are all cyclists here, some more committed than others to being "car- free." The "if you build it, they will come" model has been tested in major league Soccer and Women's NBA, both of which deserve greater attendance records than they receive. North America has become highly car dependent, as you state ad nauseum, with a few us trying to take steps toward other solutions. Cycling, mass transit, and multi- modal transit (taking your bike on a train or bus) will not become normal until we have convinced lawmakers and voters that such a transition will resolve problems. Heckling advocates of cycling, as "flat- Earthers" is at best counterproductive. I respect, and respectfully disagree with, your Malthusian views.

    Back to the issue at hand, most State and local legislators have established general guidelines for deciding which issues are important to their constituency. In Delaware, in the early 1990's, three phone calls or letters on any given position constituted public concern. Five letters, with the same position but from different voters, was considered extraordinary support for a particular view. Seat belt, drunk driving, and motorcycle helmet laws were all influenced by this system. The laws alone did not make citizens want to wear seat belts etc. Mothers Against Drunk Driving have, however, been very effective in stigmatizing drunk driving. If we want to see these changes in bicycle infrastructure, we need to call on our fellow cyclists to call our lawmakers, if we want to see changes in motorist behavior, we need something more evocative than cyclists yelling at each other.

  12. #12
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    Is my smoke detector going off? Why you ask? Because someone just got burned. To. A. Crisp.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

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    I am not saying we have to be exactly like the Dutch. I was inspired by a few Ted Talks videos. In bigger cities we can't just add more lanes in a city centre or expressway, and only so many can fit on a but or subway. With the population growing we have to look at other ways of getting us from A to B. If some of you have read my posts I have gone car free this summer. We as a society need to look at other ways of getting around town, especially if our commute distances are short. We need to make cycling feel safe first and foremost so more people will do it.

    Being a fairly new cyclist I find it relaxing most of the time unless I'm fighting a gale force head wind

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    Umm, did someone say coffee house and Belgian beer?

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    It's not just the Dutch. Look at Denmark: Copenhagen has shown that a transformation away from a purely car based city is possible. And it's really cold in winter there! In Europe Copenhagen is always named as the prime example for this transformation.

  16. #16
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Dutchman present! Feel free to ask me anything


    Quote Originally Posted by quax View Post
    It's not just the Dutch. Look at Denmark: Copenhagen has shown that a transformation away from a purely car based city is possible. And it's really cold in winter there!
    Copenhagen is not THAT cold
    And Danmark and The Netherlands are quite similar countries: flat landscape and egalitarian society (Danmark even more than us), both of which may contribute to lots of (widely accepted) bike use.

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc View Post
    Flat helps the Dutch a lot. Here is a nice bit of bike route:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qexhElAiqHo
    That's not a bike lane, just a nice road share by cars and bikes.
    The velomobiles you see on that vid are pretty rare. I regularly see about 5 of them (I know one guy who owns one) in this area, vs thousands of normal bikes. They're sort of a geeky thing, mostly used for somewhat longer bike commutes (over 10km up to 40km).
    We're seeing more and more electric pedal assisted bikes for commuting...

    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Umm, did someone say coffee house and Belgian beer?
    Belgium is somewhat different than The Netherlands. They have a great cycling (competitive cycling and cyclocross) culture, but in some parts and cities (like Bruxelles) in Belgium the cycling infrastructure isn't as good as it is in The Netherlands.

    As a bonus some pics of our bike lanes











    And THIS is what cycling in Utrecht (city) looks like.

    And THIS is an example of what a typical bike commute could look like: from Houten via Bunnik (villages near the city of Utrecht) to Utrecht Uithof (Science Park with universities, hospitals, R&D, student housing) to De Bilt and Bilthoven (villages near Utrecht)

    This one is pretty funny as well. (pretty tame though, as mentioned in the comments)
    Ride more!

  17. #17
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    Those bike lanes are in better condition than 90% of the streets here. Super jealous of that first one, because that is something that I would enjoy riding.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  18. #18
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    Dutch does not work in North America. I wish people would start to understand that. Go and do some research into city population density. Some of our cities cover an area bigger than some countries.

    The Netherlands for example have the largest populations crammed in to the smallest areas.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saddle Up View Post
    Dutch does not work in North America. I wish people would start to understand that. Go and do some research into city population density. Some of our cities cover an area bigger than some countries.

    The Netherlands for example have the largest populations crammed in to the smallest areas.
    And how do you think it got that way? It is because of the over-dependence on automobiles. If people in the US started taking choppers to work, cities would be as big as the states they are on.
    '11 Epic Comp, Shimano SPD M780, Giant Contact Switch-R, Specialized Ribcage, Bontrager Trip 200, Ergon GS1

  20. #20
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    A chopper to work? OK, that would be pretty cool I am not gonna lie.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by TenSpeed View Post
    A chopper to work? OK, that would be pretty cool I am not gonna lie.
    ...until you realize you are spending for 5 miles per gallon.
    '11 Epic Comp, Shimano SPD M780, Giant Contact Switch-R, Specialized Ribcage, Bontrager Trip 200, Ergon GS1

  22. #22
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    No one said anything about factoring in fuel costs here.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  23. #23
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    Asphaltdude, I am curious as to the monthly costs of car ownership in the Netherlands. Also curious to know how well the cycling lanes etc continue out of larger cities, we always see Amsterdam and maybe Rotterdam in the videos. Your photos of Utrecht look great, can you safely get between cities on a bike?

    I am also curious why the link between bicycles and brewing is so different between countries. Heineken and Carslberg are linked to the best cycling cities in Europe, while Portland Oregon has some great beers by US standards, is it just tradition?

    My next to last question has little to do with bikes. I come from "New Netherlands/ New Sweden" (depends who you ask, the historian's answer is both) and moved to West Michigan, which was heavily settled by members of the "Dutch Reformed Church." In my experience the East Coast "Dutch," have built houses and barns with the roof oriented to prevent rain/ sleet/ snow from covering the owner as he/ she enters the house. The West Michigan "Dutch," who came later, seem to prefer rooflines which expose any entry to precipitation aimed directly at the spinal column. What is the most common design in the Netherlands? You did say we could ask you anything.

    Finally, how did the bicycle friendly urban planning of Amsterdam and other cities come about? Where bicycles the majority when the planning laws came into effect? If not, how did (did?) the motorist community come to respect the cyclist community? Stated other wise, what can we do here?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rustedthrough View Post
    Asphaltdude, I am curious as to the monthly costs of car ownership in the Netherlands.
    A LOT higher than in the US.
    Cars are expensive. When you buy a new car, you pax taxes, depending on the CO2 emission.
    Fuel is quite expensive. We pay about € 1,70 for 1 liter, which is $ 8,20 per gallon.
    The average european car does more miles to the gallon than an American car though.
    And if you live in a city center, you have to pay for a parking permit.


    Also curious to know how well the cycling lanes etc continue out of larger cities, we always see Amsterdam and maybe Rotterdam in the videos. Your photos of Utrecht look great, can you safely get between cities on a bike?
    No problem what so ever. Even in the countryside most roads have a separate bike path, or a bike lane painted on the road.


    I am also curious why the link between bicycles and brewing is so different between countries. Heineken and Carslberg are linked to the best cycling cities in Europe, while Portland Oregon has some great beers by US standards, is it just tradition?
    Don't know really.
    Since cycling became 'hip' a few years ago it's been associated with small local breweries (and with coffee bars etc bla bla)
    Belgium has had both a (competitive) cycling culture and a great beer culture for decades (way better than the Dutch beer culture).
    We don't consider Heineken anything special by the way. They do excel at marketing, but the beer itself is just average.

    What is the most common design in the Netherlands?
    Don't really know a lot about architecture. I do know different regions have somewhat different building styles for farms.
    Boerderij - Wikipedia



    Finally, how did the bicycle friendly urban planning of Amsterdam and other cities come about? Where bicycles the majority when the planning laws came into effect? If not, how did (did?) the motorist community come to respect the cyclist community?
    Note that the city centers of our major cities are quite old.
    The Amsterdam Canal District for example was built before 1700 AD.
    So they have narrow streets.

    Before WW2, cyclists simply outnumbered cars, but when car ownership finally took off in the 60's, the old city centers became congested pretty quickly and roads became dangerous for cyclists.

    In the 70's the oil crisis and hippie culture led to a reappreciation of cycling, bike advocacy and the creation of a bike infrastructure.

    Because of the population growth (baby boom) after WW2, many new suburbs were built in the 70's and 80's, and they were designed around bikes from scratch, probably due to the bike advocacy work done in our major cities.

    Here's a very informative vid about our cycling infrastructure


    Stated other wise, what can we do here?
    Build bike paths to make cycling safer.

    Promote cycling as a means of daily transport. Not something you have to dress up for in lycra clothes, not something you must be extremely fit or skilled to do, just something normal.
    You probably know this photo series. Note that no one wears a helmet or special clothes or shoes, simply because we don't see cycling as a dangerous activity or even a sports activity.

    Maybe start with the children: build bike paths around schools so they can ride to school safely and get accustomed to using a bike for daily transport?
    Ride more!

  25. #25
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    Asphaltdude, thanks for all the thought and the great propaganda video link. Sorry about the architecture tangent.

  26. #26
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    Back to the flat earthers....

    @Rustedthrough: No, I feel most the people here are not interested in cycling actually becoming popular. Here is a small clip from the progressive mayor of Bogota, Columbia about democracy of space and public transportation infrastructure:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPf4s2oFnp0
    This is from the excellent documentary "Urbanized".

    He has some very non-nonsense views that almost all of mtbr, even on the commuting forum would be against. For example he says that a bus with fifty people deserves fifty times more the access to public roads than a person in a personal automobile. So in Bogota they actually have bus only lanes demarcated by concrete dividers. The people in personal autos rot in traffic, the buses just zip through! He also shows a paved bike lane and points out how nearby is an unpaved street and he points that is true democracy in action. For too long motorists have acted like they ought to be catered to because they have the most money to waste, while pedestrians and cyclists are an after-thought. He points out in a true democracy of space, the pedestrian and cyclist should get their infrastructure first. When they have money he says then the City of Bogota will pave the road for the auto drivers...

    Now what self-repecting, lycra clad recreational toy cyclist who prioritizes the car so much in life he would have to maybe commute 20+ miles each way to work, would want him as their mayor? I work in public transit in a moderately dense area in the Northeastern United States. I can ride any bus or train for free. Yet almost all my co-workers are highly car dependent and don't care one bit about public transportation or use it much, it is just a payday and good benefits to work there as far as they care. I read with glee a newspaper on the train at work an article saying that the gas tax would likely have to be raised for the first time in decades. My car dependent co-workers, despite working for one of the largest public transit outfits in the nation, likely meet the same news with a grimace. Don't give me your inane bs that I should assume most here advocate a true use oriented bicycling culture, when they don't.

    @Saddle Up:
    Idiotic American ninnies like you have a rolodex of excuses when any nation does anything better than 'murica. Get over yourself and look in the mirror, because tools like you create the complacency that makes us pathetic in health-care, public transportation infrastructure, education, etc., but of course we are good at having lots gun toting crazies and ruining foreign nations with our military adventures to secure resources for our corporations. There are so many reactionaries like you in this country, almost everyday I wonder why I don't leave, other then fear of the unknown...

    I used to live in the almost totally flat and fairly dense Nassau County, the nearest suburb to the Queens borough of NYC. I still didn't see many cyclists. Stop making excuses, even dense and flat portions of the USA don't approach the Dutch modal share for cycling trips taken compared to other methods of transport like personal automobiles.

    I have a feeling you could likely be from the American South or Mid-West in which case I totally wasted my time engaging with you. Those regions are doomed to always support every reactionary policy thanks to their inhabitants.

    @TenSpeed:
    Old biddy, do you think those bike lanes could actually be so pristine because they are not constantly molested by two ton vehicles hauling at most times a single person? And then as winter sets and wanes, those huge-mongous North American cars are pounding the frozen and alternatively thawing roads, causing enormous wear and tear? Who would have thought that simple bicycles weighing at most 40 pounds with a solitary rider likely weighing under 200 lbs, don't cause as much wear? It is good we have sharp knives like you on this forum...

    @asphaltdude:
    What do you Dutch think about American cycling weirdos who think they need a lycra uniform with huge logos, clipless peddles, cycling specific cleats, aerobars, sunglasses, cycling caps just to even get onto a saddle? Even though they don't go fast enough to take advantage of any of that.

    What do you guys think of people who actually have their bicycle go more miles on the back or top of a car, then by pedal power? Then when it is too cold in certain portions of the USA, they break out the training to really upgrade from the hamster in a ball effect of aimlessly cycling just for exercise to the hamster wheel initiation? But of course either way they never cycle to shop or work for the most car in this sport racing wannabe sub-culture.

    There are lots of crazy marketing hype swallowing weirdos in what passes for the cycling culture of North America. You can identify alot of these wackos on the forum because they always try to portray it as a problem of other cyclists not following the rules of the road created for automobiles(which suits their car dependent lifestyle just nicely) as the reason why bicycling is not popular and why people on a bicycle have a bad reputation!(It may be a culture shock to you, but people on bicycles are hated where I live since we have to compete with motorists for access roads with speed limits that are too high.)

  27. #27
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    Roy, thanks for the informative and inspirational video link. Seeing major cities in developing economies initiate novel approaches to public transport and infrastructure is a wonderful thing. Maybe we can learn something from it.

    Outside of the Bo- Wash corridor, many of us commute 20 miles or so because there are limited job opportunities near our homes. Inside the corridor, I used to commute because I couldn't afford to live near my jobs. Insufficient infrastructure (bike or otherwise) has led to a car dependent suburbanized nation. This standard has in turn led (as the former mayor of Bogota mentions in the above video) to a stigmatization of public transport and bicycles.

    If you haven't yet, please check out Asphaltdude's video link on how the Dutch got their bike lanes. Our US urban and peri- urban areas have been slow to recognize the value of the bike as transport, at least in part due to cultural norms of cars and suburban life being prized over dense urban settings. Our rural planning boards don't consider bikes at all, because they also think a 10 mile commute by bike is impossible/ insane. They however recognize that a 30 mile commute may be necessary for many residents.

    "Use- oriented cycling" is the reason we are on this forum and in this thread. The OP has given up his car for the season, several commenters commute full time on bicycles. This decision to cycle rather than drive, needs to be at the heart of this debate.

    As a newcomer to "use oriented cycling," I have done all of my grocery and household shopping on my bike (with two paradoxical exceptions of shopping at the LBS for lights and leg bands on the way home from work) and have commuted (by bicycle) to every class or event on campus since early July.

    Like many of the posters you malign here, I ride to these places because I can, because I enjoy the ride or the challenge, and because I want to explore things at a lower speed than I find interesting in my VW. Were the infrastructure there to keep me safe in commuting to work and elsewhere, as it is to school, I would ride more. I don't wear lycra, I don't care if the others do or don't, I care that we make it home safely.

    The OP suggested we be more like the Dutch, perhaps we need to think more like the Colombians as well. I think we agree that that we need better public transit options, better multi- modal options, and safer bike infrastructure.

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    I originally started this post so we as people can lessen congestion in our cities. Yeah North America is vast, and for a lot of us there is no replacement for a car from city to city. But within our cities if biking comes a "safer" option I bet more would take it. I myself live in a smaller city, with the farthest commute being about 6 miles.

    Yes I agree a combination of better public transport and cycling infrastructure will make our lives a lot less hectic. My employer provides a subsidy for those who take the bus. Government and corporations need to provide some incentive for leaving the car at home. These are all small things that could add up to a lot in the future.

  29. #29
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    Great article about this very subject.

    A Bike Lane Runs Through It: L.A. Rethinks Transportation


    LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds
    Seleta Reynolds, Los Angeles’ new chief of transportation, wants to help break L.A.’s dependence on cars. She believes that bikes are key to doing it. New York City, the Bay Area and other metropolises have already begun to show that a mixed transportation network with a central role for bicycles can be achieved in America. But can bikes prosper in the most infamous car town in the world?
    Before being hired by Mayor Eric Garcetti this summer, Reynolds helped lead San Francisco’s Livable Streets office in that city’s transportation agency. She sees a bit of L.A.’s future in San Francisco’s present.
    “In San Francisco, people are truly multimodal,” she told Capital & Main. “They take taxis, they take Uber and Lyft. They ride their bikes, they take a bike-share. They take the ferry, they ride the bus, they take the Muni Metro. Sometimes they drive, they take car-shares. There’s this huge web of choices available to people whenever they want. That’s the direction we need to be moving in Los Angeles.”
    Reynolds imagines a future in which an Angeleno can open an app that tells her not just the route to her chosen destination, but the best combination of modes to get there—bike to light rail to a bus to another bike, for instance—with the combined cost of the entire trip, and a one-click payment for all of the separate fares. In her view, the lifestyle habits of the digital age are already pushing us in that direction.
    “You see it when you look at millennials,” she said. “If you give them a choice between a smart phone and a car, they want a smart phone. They consider driving a distraction to texting. They do not want to drive, and they want to live in cities where they don’t have to have a car.”
    That city is not Los Angeles. L.A. is a city in which it’s not uncommon to take the freeway to get from one side to the other of the same neighborhood. While L.A. actually beats New York, Chicago, San Francisco and almost the entire rest of the country in access to bus lines, those buses crawl at an average of 10 miles an hour when not on the freeway, in a city of more than 500 square miles. L.A. also has a robust light rail system, but its ridership barely edges out San Francisco, a much smaller city, and still falls short of Boston, a yet smaller city. L.A. is a city with a stubbornly car-centric infrastructure in a country that may be moving away from cars.
    Or at least, that’s what Reynolds believes. “It’s probably too early to say,” she suggested, “but we may have passed peak driving. There’s a societal shift away from driving. That is happening regardless of what [the city is] doing. We just need to be able to catch up and enable it and make it stick.”
    One of the keys to making it stick, she believes, is bike sharing, an innovation that has gotten off the ground in New York, Chicago and the Bay Area, but despite concerted efforts, has so far eluded L.A.
    “That’s really the barrier for bikes to fit into that truly multimodal trip choice scenario,” she said. “If I ride my bike downtown, and I don’t want to ride it back home for whatever reason, I can put it on the bus, but that’s about my only choice. Whereas if I had a bike-share in my neighborhood, I could pick up a bike, ride it downtown, drop it off down here, and then I don’t have to worry about it.”
    But while it’s easy enough to imagine a thriving bike-share program in neighborhoods like Echo Park, Silver Lake and Venice, where bicycles are already ubiquitous, in poorer areas the picture may be more complicated. Bikes can carry a whole different set of associations in poor communities than they do in more affluent ones. In a low-income neighborhood, a person on a bicycle might be presumed to be a drug dealer, or someone who lost his driver’s license on a DUI charge. That negative image is a disincentive to cycling.
    And even aside from the social stigmas, it’s just unsafe to ride bikes in some parts of town. Sahra Sulaiman, who works with at-risk youth in Watts and Boyle Heights, and reports for StreetsBlog L.A., told Capital & Main that “in lower-income communities where the public space is contested because of gang activity, crime, and/or intense policing by law enforcement, youth and men of color who choose to walk or bike alone are most at risk for being recruited for gangs, being jumped—and having their bike stolen—or being subjected to constant stops and searches by police.”
    In the late ’90s, when Reynolds worked for the city of Oakland, she became accustomed to the challenges of pitching increased investment in bike infrastructure to marginalized neighborhoods. When she went to community meetings in places that had been habitually neglected by the city, she was presented with long lists of urgent needs that had gone unaddressed for years. The last thing people wanted to hear about was bike lanes.
    “Bike lanes can be associated with gentrification,” Reynolds conceded. “When we talk about the power of street transformations to strengthen local economies, to some people, what that means is the arrival of $4 toast. Like, ‘You’re going to make this a street for hipsters and I’m not going to have a place in this community.’”
    Jamaal Green, an Urban Studies and Planning doctoral student at Portland State University, and the blogger behind Surly Urbanism, remarked “semi-jokingly” in a post last year that “the forces that destroyed black and poor neighborhoods with highway construction from the ’40s to the ’60s are the same ones now pushing bike lanes.”
    Elaborating on that thought today, Green told Capital & Main, “I think we should be wary of calls for bike infrastructure placement when framed primarily as an amenity or attractor for some preferred demographic, because that often means folks aren’t at all thinking about people who actually live in these neighborhoods.”
    A few months ago, a local real estate developer handed out flyers in the Arts District, a neighborhood adjacent to downtown Los Angeles with a Blue Bottle, a Stumptown and a Handsome coffee roaster – along with a vintage video game arcade bar and a brand new mega-development that leases 363-square-foot studios for close to $1,500 a month. The flyer invited Arts District renters to a bike tour of Boyle Heights, a nearby neighborhood that has been home to low-income immigrant communities for generations. “Why Rent Downtown When You Could Own in Boyle Heights?” the flyer read, describing the area as a “charming, historical, walkable and bikable neighborhood.” The bike tour would be followed by a discussion over “artisanal treats.”
    When Boyle Heights residents got a hold of the flyer, a backlash ensued, which included some threats of violence. The developer canceled the tour and apologized for the flyer.
    Gentrification tours are not the same as livable streets initiatives. But when the language of the latter is appropriated to sell the former, long-time residents of newly “up-and-coming” neighborhoods can be forgiven for failing to draw the distinction.
    Adrian Lipscombe manages the bikeshare program for the city of Austin. She is currently working on her dissertation at the University of Texas, studying the perception of bicycle transportation in minority communities.
    “In Austin, we have 100 people moving here a day. Seventy of them bring cars with them,” she explained. “So we have lots of issues with gentrification, as well as with traffic and congestion. Bike facilities do not lead to gentrification, but there can be some bias from communities that don’t see them as something they use. There can be a lot of, ‘Who is this really for?’ So it’s a matter of getting into the neighborhoods, talking about their needs, understanding their main mode of transportation, understanding the history of all the things that never got fixed, and then figuring out how to fit bicycle facilities into that context.”
    Those are guidelines Reynolds will need to follow as she implements the mayor’s new Great Streets initiative, a program to transform selected traffic corridors into beautified, bike-and-pedestrian-friendly districts that boost neighborhood economies and, one hopes, keep people out of their cars.
    “I’m interested in finding partners and champions in these communities, and make the Great Streets initiative a project for people who already live in them today,” Reynolds said. “It’s not just about how clean the streets are, or that the signals work. It’s also about making sure the streets are a reflection of the people who live there now.”
    From: Capital& Main, Photos courtesty L.A. Dept. of Transportation

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    I tried not to, but you went to where I felt I had no choice but to engage. How can you advocate for Dutch or Colombian cycle culture when you clearly know so little about either? Very few cyclists in either Bogotá or The Hague hate motorists. Both coexist, rarely happily but almost always respectfully.

    Quote Originally Posted by RoyFokker View Post
    Now what self-repecting, lycra clad recreational toy cyclist who prioritizes the car so much in life he would have to maybe commute 20+ miles each way to work, would want him as their mayor?
    Peñaloza is a great dude. He also cycles Patios in full cycling gear on weekends. Last time I saw him passing through Belisario (where the climb starts) there were several roadies clapping and cheering.

    Cycling on the roads, besides being great free exercise for everyone, is also necessary for the vast majority of cycle commuters. The road he was talking about, the unpaved on - it was littered with houses and businesses. You have to cross the road to get there. Even though the cycle path network here is always expanding, most everyone lives on a street without a cycle path. Teaching people how to ride on the road, as much as teaching drivers to respect cyclist on the road, is therefore absolutely essential if cycling is to grow as a transport option. Pedagogy was a key part of Peñaloza and Mockus's success.

    Also, if you take an even cursory glance at the video you yourself posted, you'll realize almost everyone here is on a mountain bike you feel are so inadequate as a transport tool. We go a bit slower, maybe, but we are far more comfortable and less likely to die on the many, many potholes (and unpaved roads). Only the hardcore roadies or the very skilled and/or adventurous ride anything else.

    Outside of voting for him for mayor twice, I also heard Peñaloza speak at an urban planning conference in Atlanta. They seem to have tried to take heed, as last I heard they were giving cycling a big go there, challenging as it may be in such a paradise of suburban sprawl. But they were still making a go of it, since, as you (must) know, there are plenty of good, moral, open-minded people in the American South.

    Quote Originally Posted by RoyFokker View Post
    I have a feeling you could likely be from the American South or Mid-West in which case I totally wasted my time engaging with you.
    Meanwhile, this is borderline xenophobic hate speech.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RoyFokker View Post
    @asphaltdude:
    What do you Dutch think about American cycling weirdos who think they need a lycra uniform with huge logos, clipless peddles, cycling specific cleats, aerobars, sunglasses, cycling caps just to even get onto a saddle? Even though they don't go fast enough to take advantage of any of that.
    Nothing wrong with wearing lycra on a bike if that's your thing. I do that as well when I ride my roadbike for sports, and many dutchmen do.
    Cycling really is the new golf here, too.
    Even if you're a dentist in XXL Garmin team kit on a $ 8K Cervélo, that's perfectly fine with me, I'm just happy when people enjoy cycling.

    But when we take our bikes to get to work (3 miles away for me, I'm lucky), the pub or grocery store, we just wear normal clothes.

    And as I tried to explain: the idea one MUST dress up in lycra to ride a bike probably keeps many Americans off the bike because they don't want to look that weird. People should know that normal people in normal clothes can ride a bike as well.
    Ride more!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm View Post
    Great article about this very subject.

    A Bike Lane Runs Through It: L.A. Rethinks Transportation


    LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds
    Seleta Reynolds, Los Angeles’ new chief of transportation, wants to help break L.A.’s dependence on cars. She believes that bikes are key to doing it. New York City, the Bay Area and other metropolises have already begun to show that a mixed transportation network with a central role for bicycles can be achieved in America. But can bikes prosper in the most infamous car town in the world?
    Before being hired by Mayor Eric Garcetti this summer, Reynolds helped lead San Francisco’s Livable Streets office in that city’s transportation agency. She sees a bit of L.A.’s future in San Francisco’s present.
    “In San Francisco, people are truly multimodal,”
    Thats where I stopped reading.
    No place to park in San Fran.
    Remove parking in cities, get more people biking or taking public transportation.
    win. win. win.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carton View Post
    Meanwhile, this is borderline xenophobic hate speech.
    Maybe it is that bad. It sure isn't good. It is definitely insulting. And blankets many here in stereotypes that are undeserved and uncalled for.

    Insults are counterproductive to winning people over to your point of view. This particular forum, (as most are attempting to use their bikes as a mode or transportation) is populated by members quite receptive to discussion of the basic concepts brought forth but the OP. Maybe not to the same degree as the OP, but it is a free country. We are not all extreme champions of everything we think is a good idea. We are respect differences in opinion stated without rancor or diatribe.

    Countering ideas were expressed to open discussion and instead of stimulating a polite dialog the inputs were taken as personal attacks. This forum has a very polite history. We have enough stress in our rides, we don't need to find more here. We expect and deserve better conduct from each other and respect for everyone's ideas. All posters should know that other members have the right to disengage when a member becomes abusive. No added entries in their threads. No responses to their posts in others.

    Polite disagreement is great. Abuse is not.

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    ^^ Well said, BrianMc!

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    This is three years old now, but very relevant:

    How the Dutch got their cycle lanes(article):



    What this countries advocacy is missing are the mass protests to take back the streets. Unfortunately, things here won't change because of cheap fuel and a normalization of deaths caused by motor vehicles (30,000+/year).

    Plus, this guys voice is like a Dutch, David Attenborough.

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    The Neatherlands and Denmark are remarkable flat countries, both climates are moderated by the nearby sea.

    The Neatherlands and Denmark both have high density cities.

    These facts are huge advantages to encourage cycling, and therefore the number of people who cycle, regardless of infrastructure.

    The infrastructure is more a result of the basic climate and topography.

    That is and was the leading impetous to develop the infrastructure...

    Try to picture, a couple thousand Calgarians, labouring up a 500 vert foot hill, in the dark, heading into a 30 km/h north wind....temps around -15C and feels like -20C....oh and the bike lane is covered in hard packed snow with some gravel chips and salt that isn't melting anything on top.

    Not has much demand for cycling infrastructure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rogbie View Post
    This is three years old now, but very relevant:

    How the Dutch got their cycle lanes(article):
    Interresting- thanks for posting it.
    Recalculating....

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    The Neatherlands and Denmark are remarkable flat countries, both climates are moderated by the nearby sea.

    The Neatherlands and Denmark both have high density cities.

    These facts are huge advantages to encourage cycling, and therefore the number of people who cycle, regardless of infrastructure.

    The infrastructure is more a result of the basic climate and topography.

    That is and was the leading impetous to develop the infrastructure...

    Try to picture, a couple thousand Calgarians, labouring up a 500 vert foot hill, in the dark, heading into a 30 km/h north wind....temps around -15C and feels like -20C....oh and the bike lane is covered in hard packed snow with some gravel chips and salt that isn't melting anything on top.

    Not has much demand for cycling infrastructure.
    Did you miss the video? The cycling infrastructure was fought for through political action and direct action. It was a response to the loss of public spaces and the high rates of death and injury caused by motor-traffic.

    In the US, 30,000+ people die from motor vehicles every year, many tens of thousands more are injured. In comparison, gun deaths in the US are 10,000+/year. Yet, the latter gets far more attention than the former. Not to mention the current scandals involving recalls and defective products that can potentially kill drivers, passengers and those outside of vehicles. Automobiles in their current state are a menace and scourge on society.

    What got the Dutch their cycle lanes is, the public understood the dangers presented by motor traffic, its effect on quality of life, and they regulated it accordingly.

    Unfortunately, the direct action taken by the Dutch in the '70s is not possible in today's world. The last mass protest I took part in for cycling infrastructure resulted in a mass detention and ticketing of nearly 500 people. The message and controversial arrest was never covered by the local media and the city leaders never got the message. The protest was stopped within 5 blocks of starting. None of the tickets were prosecuted, as a judge dismissed all the charges. The testifying cops (one wrote over 150 tickets himself) could not positively ID anyone who received tickets, and the tickets all had the same charge. But, their tactic worked. The next planned protest has maybe 20 people show up, after that the movement died.

    I can only imagine the city would bring out the tactical teams if we tried and had that large of a crowd again.

    So, the question becomes, do we fight for our own space as cyclists, or fight for our space already on the roads, increased protection for cyclists and better education for motorists?

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    The problem is we are so car focused. Growing up getting a car was part of "growing up". Even now I have co-workers who drive 1/2 ton pick up trucks with $500-$700 monthly payments plus insurance and gas. We need to make cycling cool as our health and environment depend on it. Big corporations want us to buy cars, which I understand cause it does help the economy. So would better mass transit if we were to have those related things made here. If we paid what they do in Europe for gas some of us might give the bicycle a second look.

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    Another dutchman here..

    Riding a bike in the Netherlands is grown from the fact that we live and work close enough to travel by bake and not by car ore train for example.. Just like my friend Asphaltdude wrote , we cycle to visit the bar , to go to the wallmarkt, ore to pick up a set of nails at the home depot. these bikes are very stong but heavy , designed for long lasting transport. i was born in Utrecht and lived for 20 years in the sub urbs 12 miles west.. during my school and college perriod i pedaled 24 miles a day , that is and was pure nature and a very common thing to do here. we are all wearing our normal clothes and no helmet..

    This all becouse our very save bike lanes.

    But :

    it will come with some downsides as well .. people feel so comfort on our lanes that the young children going to school are all biking together to school in cognole. Dangerous !

    the cycling sport went sky high the last couple of years .. there are a lot of unexperienced sportbikes on those lanes. .. Dangerous !

    just to show and spread that our bikelanes are great and most of the time in perfect condition , let alone in what kind of nature they lead you from one city to another. it can feel like your on holiday for 2 hours in your own country. But we feel SO safe that it becomes a little dangerous here and there.

    IF there is any change to visit the netherlands, go find yourself a nice bed & breakfast and you can bike your way from the flat (ohio) kind of country in the north to the steep hills in the south in a few days !

    Jeroen

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    Quote Originally Posted by snailspace View Post
    The problem is we are so car focused. Growing up getting a car was part of "growing up". Even now I have co-workers who drive 1/2 ton pick up trucks with $500-$700 monthly payments plus insurance and gas. We need to make cycling cool as our health and environment depend on it. Big corporations want us to buy cars, which I understand cause it does help the economy. So would better mass transit if we were to have those related things made here. If we paid what they do in Europe for gas some of us might give the bicycle a second look.
    Imagine how much money could go to a local economy if people didn't spend $1000/month on vehicle expenses. Or the increase in a quality of life through not working so damn much to pay for that vehicle.

    I wish I had never been blinded by the headlights. My older self admonishes my younger self for not drinking the bike-aid sooner.

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    Re: We need to be more like the Dutch

    In America, cars are viewed as status symbols. Probably more so than anywhere else in the world. That's a huge hurdle when it comes to switching over to cycling...most people want to be seen driving a nice car, not riding a bike. Its sad but true. I see so many trophy wives driving around in escalades when a minivan or even a 4 door car would suit their needs just as well, if not better

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    Quote Originally Posted by 8iking VIIking View Post
    In America, cars are viewed as status symbols. Probably more so than anywhere else in the world. That's a huge hurdle when it comes to switching over to cycling...most people want to be seen driving a nice car, not riding a bike. Its sad but true. I see so many trophy wives driving around in escalades when a minivan or even a 4 door car would suit their needs just as well, if not better
    Things, they be changing here in the US of A.

    https://autos.yahoo.com/news/wave-go...185700495.html

    I could ALMOST get by with one vehicle in the household right now. Major impediments to that include my wife's daily (and somewhat irregular) commute as well as two of my part time jobs. One of them involves making deliveries around town. Some of those are feasible on a bike, but oftentimes not.

    If we took some serious efforts to streamline, including relocating to the town where the wife works, me quitting my part time jobs, we could probably make it work with a single car.

    That would make some things more difficult, though. Not the least of which that we like the general area where we live now (though would prefer to live about 2mi down the road) and that we have no desire to live in the town where she works, for a lot of reasons.

    I would like to live in the downtown area, though. Dropping a car would almost be a necessity there, but parking is reasonably available in most residential areas downtown so keeping one wouldn't be very burdensome.

  45. #45
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    ^ I agree that status of car ownership has declined a tad. We have gone to the high mileage route instead of flashy new cars to reduce our carbon footprint (takes a lot of energy to make them). We have taken our current best car over 220,000 miles (one of five to do so) and looking at 300,00+ with it. Looks good for 9 years old and the parts are still available. It is really a bit big for us now but with all wheel drive, handles winter trips to Cleveland with four ice radials like an Audi but at a lot less money. The car we bought for my son's college years as a dependable beater has crossed into crotchety old age. !5 years old, 125,000 miles and parts harder to come by. It was a very sporty car ranked with the BMW 3 series and very well rated for safety when it came out, but pretty standard cars now beat it in both departments and get significantly better gas mileage. So it will be gone in the spring. Electric and hybrids just would not pencil out with the distances we need to cover or a 20 year pay back doesn't cut it for me. It is more like buying a refrigerator than a lifestyle now.

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    Well then, here's a plug for Tucson

    The Loop - Pima County

    What started as a Flood Control project morphed into an alternative to on street riding. Guess it helps that our City Manager is a Roadie. Looking at the pics above I wonder how much of the path engineering wasn't based on "something" on the other side of the pond.

    What is a shame is how few people use it, as compared to road traffic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by milliesand View Post
    Well then, here's a plug for Tucson

    The Loop - Pima County

    What started as a Flood Control project morphed into an alternative to on street riding. Guess it helps that our City Manager is a Roadie. Looking at the pics above I wonder how much of the path engineering wasn't based on "something" on the other side of the pond.

    What is a shame is how few people use it, as compared to road traffic.
    This looks awesome. Wish we had something like this in Phoenix (yes I know about the canal trails, but most of it is still undeveloped).

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    Quote Originally Posted by rogbie View Post
    Imagine how much money could go to a local economy if people didn't spend $1000/month on vehicle expenses. Or the increase in a quality of life through not working so damn much to pay for that vehicle.

    I wish I had never been blinded by the headlights. My older self admonishes my younger self for not drinking the bike-aid sooner.
    That's great - I myself bike commute whenever possible - but it's no reason to hate freedom.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadgerOne View Post
    That's great - I myself bike commute whenever possible - but it's no reason to hate freedom.
    What are you referring to? Freedom to drive a car? That honestly doesn't follow. True freedom in this regard can't be completely cut and dry. The USA is too big, with too much space between many towns and larger cities to completely dump personal cars. It will never happen. Many cities themselves are far too sprawling for that.

    What SHOULD be done is that the least expensive ways to get around should get the highest priority.

    Walking should be undisputed tops on this list. People obviously aren't going to walk a 20 mile commute to work, but walking to businesses near one's house should be simple and safe. It would be nice if I could walk to the grocery store across the street without walking through the (sometimes soggy or snowy) grass. But that's just not possible because the pedestrian facilities suck. You can't walk to/from one of the half dozen bus stops in the area without that same soggy trudge.

    Cycling should be very high on that list, as well. Even dedicated bike paths are cheaper than an equivalent distance of road.

    And that's completely ignoring public transit options. Efficient and effective public transit reduces the need for personal cars even more. It sure would be nice if my family could get by with just a single car.

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    Well I guess being Dutch I could praise the Lord for that little bikeheaven on earth and I admit that it is very tempting when you like cycling.

    As stated before, everything in the Netherlands is quite small and for most people on earth, quite cramped. Narrow streets, small houses, and a very dense population. Recently I found an article that stated that a car costs ~650€ a month, compared to ~400€ a month in Germany. And most of that are fixed costs, so there is not much that you can do about it.

    As I read before the car is also here in Germany and the Netherlands slowly but steadily losing its status symbol. Some people say it is the generation Z not caring about anything but themselves, others (I am in the group too) think that it has more to do with the very unsecured life circumstances of young people. Difficult to find a job and mostly it is one with a timely limited contract. The avarage salaries are constantly dropping. Under those circumstances I can imagine that people can not save money to buy a car or a house and banks are reluctant to give people a big loan for that.
    Well and if you don't own a car, you have to go live in a bigger town where everything is reachable by public transport and/or bike.
    So currently here in Europe that is the question concerning the generation Z: Don't they care or can't they afford it?

    Ok to come back to topic: To make sure cities get more bikefriendly, it mostly needs politicians who are willing to change things in that direction. In the Netherlands it is already quite common and a lot of cities show the same issues. Famous examples outside Holland are Copenhagen and the German city of Münster, which was voted best biketown last year in Germany.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclingdutchman View Post
    As stated before, everything in the Netherlands is quite small and for most people on earth, quite cramped. Narrow streets, small houses, and a very dense population. Recently I found an article that stated that a car costs ~650€ a month, compared to ~400€ a month in Germany. And most of that are fixed costs, so there is not much that you can do about it.
    Ok to come back to topic: To make sure cities get more bikefriendly, it mostly needs politicians who are willing to change things in that direction. In the Netherlands it is already quite common and a lot of cities show the same issues. Famous examples outside Holland are Copenhagen and the German city of Münster, which was voted best biketown last year in Germany.
    I live in a cold winter city with lots of snow and ice.....big hills and a deep river valley.

    The city is trying to make the city more bike friendly....unfortunately bike friendly to them this means putting the bikes lanes on the main car routes....

    These routes go straight up hills (instead of around etc) and when it snows the bike lanes are a disaster and dangerous....

    I made a comment of say 500 hundred people dressed for work labouring up a 500 vertical foot hill into the teeth of a 50 km/h north wind with snow at -20C.....

    Just don't see that happening....

    Basically each city will have to work out their own solution or base it on a similar city....rather than picking cities with very different issues to emulate.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclingdutchman View Post
    As stated before, everything in the Netherlands is quite small and for most people on earth, quite cramped. Narrow streets, small houses, and a very dense population.

    Ok to come back to topic: To make sure cities get more bikefriendly, it mostly needs politicians who are willing to change things in that direction.
    Nail on the head there.

    Here in the UK we have much the same problem, Cities sprouted up hundreds of years ago and really were not designed for cars, but until recently no-one has had the balls to really address the cars 'access all areas' philosophy. Generally where cyclepaths are added to streets they either steal a couple of feet of the road or convert footpaths to dual use. Road is probably the best solution as otherwise you have to stop at every junction rather than flowing with the traffic but they are not without there hazards.

    Newer cities such as Milton Keynes, which was built in the late 60's onwards had the foresight to plan and have a brilliant bike network.

    Recently London Mayor Boris Johnson had been introducing the Cycle Super Highway to try and help cyclists work in the capital. Not an easy task. Even the cab drivers have tried to block section of it through the courts, unsuccessfully. Can't find anything everso relevant to subject so the link just shows some google images.

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=lo...w=1147&bih=714
    2018 commutes - 26 days, 542 miles

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclingdutchman View Post
    So currently here in Europe that is the question concerning the generation Z: Don't they care or can't they afford it?
    Technically, I'm of that generation; though, I consider myself in between. We can't afford it. My generation has more debt than any other pervious generation. I currently pay >66% of my income on housing and bills, the same is true for my peers. I was forced to quit school or become homeless the other option is take tens of thousands of dollars more in loans at outrageous interest rates with no chance of loan consolidation.

    Is there any question why it seems like we don't care? I've already mortgaged my future for an education I can't afford because I cannot feed and house myself while obtaining that education. An education that without even more education pays the same as my current service industry job.

    I really hope no one thinks: work harder. I work plenty hard, between 40-60 hours a week that doesn't leave much time for living or caring, for that matter.

    The one shining point in all this shit: riding a bicycle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclingdutchman View Post
    Well I guess being Dutch I could praise the Lord for that little bikeheaven on earth and I admit that it is very tempting when you like cycling.
    The thing that makes bikes ideal transport in Holland is also the thing that would crack me up the most. The whole place is totally flat!

    If you've never been there is hard to grasp just how flat Holland is. A mountain bike is a waste of time, there is nowhere interesting or challenging to ride it, so no one has them. Almost all of the bikes are sit-up-and-beg, single-gear jobs which weigh a ton but the weight does not matter...as there are no hills. Anyone can cycle as it requires no fitness at all.

    Where I live, nowhere is flat, and it rains half the year. Cycling is a lot less popular ;0)

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