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marmar

(77,421 posts)
Sat May 9, 2015, 09:40 AM May 2015

How Amsterdam became the bicycle capital of the world





How Amsterdam became the bicycle capital of the world
In the 1960s, Dutch cities were increasingly in thrall to motorists, with the car seen as the transport of the future. It took the intolerable toll of child traffic deaths – and fierce activism – to turn Amsterdam into the cycling nirvana of today


(Guardian UK) Anyone who has ever tried to make their way through the centre of Amsterdam in a car knows it: the city is owned by cyclists. They hurry in swarms through the streets, unbothered by traffic rules, taking precedence whenever they want, rendering motorists powerless by their sheer numbers.

Cyclists rule in Amsterdam and great pains have been taken to accommodate them: the city is equipped with an elaborate network of cycle-paths and lanes, so safe and comfortable that even toddlers and elderly people use bikes as the easiest mode of transport. It’s not only Amsterdam which boasts a network of cycle-paths, of course; you’ll find them in all Dutch cities.

The Dutch take this for granted; they even tend to believe these cycle-paths have existed since the beginning of time. But that is certainly not the case. There was a time, in the 1950s and 60s, when cyclists were under severe threat of being expelled from Dutch cities by the growing number of cars. Only thanks to fierce activism and a number of decisive events would Amsterdam succeed in becoming what it is, unquestionably, now: the bicycle capital of the world.

At the start of the 20th century, bikes far outnumbered cars in Dutch cities and the bicycle was considered a respectable mode of transport for men and women. But when the Dutch economy began to boom in the post-war era, more and more people were able to afford cars, and urban policymakers came to view the car as the travel mode of the future. Entire Amsterdam neighbourhoods were destroyed to make way for motorised traffic. The use of bikes decreased by 6% every year, and the general idea was that bicycles would eventually disappear altogether. ......................(more)

http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/may/05/amsterdam-bicycle-capital-world-transport-cycling-kindermoord




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How Amsterdam became the bicycle capital of the world (Original Post) marmar May 2015 OP
The strange thing is SoCalNative May 2015 #1

SoCalNative

(4,613 posts)
1. The strange thing is
Sat May 9, 2015, 11:44 AM
May 2015

for all of their concern about children being killed in car accidents, I still see people driving with toddlers/kids in their lap in the driver's seat, and they are no safer in how they transport their children via bicycle. Other than toddlers in child bike seats, almost NO ONE wears a helmet here, and kids of various ages routinely ride on their parents' bikes standing up on the back of them, or sitting on the rack at the back.

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