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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 03-23-07, 02:34 AM   #1
Ekdog
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Bicycles in Bogota, Copenhaguen and Amsterdam

Check out this 15-minute video about how bike paths and other measures have made commuting by bicycle a reality for thousands of people in three cities: Bogota, Copenhagen and Amsterdam. A lot of it is in Spanish, but some parts are in English with Spanish subtitles.

It's encouraging to see the idea catching on in Latin America. Methinks it makes a lot of sense for developing countries.

http://video.google.es/videoplay?doc...n+bogota&hl=es
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Old 03-23-07, 05:34 AM   #2
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Great Video!!!
My wife is fron CPH, DK and we are moving back there hopefully very very soon....we miss it....I just wish that in Spain there were more efforts towards this way of life... I know.. slowly but surely...
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Old 03-23-07, 08:32 AM   #3
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I am so envious of cities that have truly embraced the bicycle and cycling into their public-spaces infrastructure. They look like such livable cities. I sent the Mayor of Toronto and two councillors this video and pointed out that Bogota, for example, has more than three times the distance of bike lanes than we have here, yet three times fewer cyclists. I have been pushing for car-free streets like they showed in Copenhagen and even suggested what they have in Amsterdam with the traffic signals for cyclists and a road design that allows cars to get to every home or business but by going around whereas cycling lanes are direct.
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Old 03-23-07, 11:25 AM   #4
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The former mayor of Bogota, Enrique Penalosa, is an outstanding carfree hero. Among other accomplishments, he got one of the world's craziest car cities to set up a great bike path system. He has visonary ideas about urban development for "people and children first," especially in developing countries.
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Old 03-23-07, 02:01 PM   #5
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When I was in Bogota, I was very impressed by the TransMilenio, their dedicated bus service. It functions a lot like an above-ground subway system, with dedicated lanes and stations, but at a fraction of the capotal costs of an underground or elevated system.

I also saw a couple of tall bikes there. The only ones I've seen in Latin America.
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Old 03-23-07, 03:48 PM   #6
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Bogota, my boss tells me, also has a real carfree day in which only authorized vehicles are allowed to be on the road. This is one day a year and it is to encourage people to look for other modes of transportation. How cool, eh?
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Old 03-23-07, 08:32 PM   #7
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I think this may be the English language version. It's definitely worth watching.
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Old 03-23-07, 08:46 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by huerro
When I was in Bogota, I was very impressed by the TransMilenio, their dedicated bus service. It functions a lot like an above-ground subway system, with dedicated lanes and stations, but at a fraction of the capotal costs of an underground or elevated system.

I also saw a couple of tall bikes there. The only ones I've seen in Latin America.
New York City is going to spend BILLIONS on building the Second Avenue Subway. All they had to do was see that video and copy what Bogota has for about a tenth of what were about to spend.
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Old 03-23-07, 09:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by EnigManiac
I am so envious of cities that have truly embraced the bicycle and cycling into their public-spaces infrastructure. They look like such livable cities. I sent the Mayor of Toronto and two councillors this video and pointed out that Bogota, for example, has more than three times the distance of bike lanes than we have here, yet three times fewer cyclists. I have been pushing for car-free streets like they showed in Copenhagen and even suggested what they have in Amsterdam with the traffic signals for cyclists and a road design that allows cars to get to every home or business but by going around whereas cycling lanes are direct.
Agreed.

They actually had schools teaching children how to ride a bicycle. Incredible.

What I didn't understand is why they choose to ignore importance of the helmet or bicycle gloves? These are just as important as the fenders on their bicycles.
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Old 03-23-07, 09:37 PM   #10
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What I didn't understand is why they choose to ignore importance of the helmet or bicycle gloves? These are just as important as the fenders on their bicycles.
Depends. The usefulness of helmets is highly debatable, as anyone who's ever poked his nose into A&S would know. And as for gloves... I don't know any statistics, but in the many, many falls I've taken as a kid, I've never skinned my palms. Elbows and knees - lots and lots of times. Palms? Nope.

Fenders on the other hand make every ride so much more pleasant.

Last edited by chephy; 03-23-07 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 03-23-07, 10:04 PM   #11
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I also noticed something else.

The cyclists riding those paths in Holland had NO FEAR of intersections. They crossed knowing full well the motorist was going to stop because they had the right of way which is why their bicycle infrastructure works. Did anyone notice the close calls those cyclists had on those integrated bike paths with motorcar crossings?

I don't know if you can create an extensive bike path like that here in the U.S. because those close calls would have been accidents. The motorist expects the cyclist to stop at intersections period.
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Old 03-24-07, 01:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miguelangel
Great Video!!!
My wife is fron CPH, DK and we are moving back there hopefully very very soon....we miss it....I just wish that in Spain there were more efforts towards this way of life... I know.. slowly but surely...
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CPH, DK? I'm afraid abbreviations aren't my forte. Is your wife Spanish?

I'm hoping that what's happening here in Seville will be such a huge success that other Spanish cities will bring similar projects into being.

Saludos,

Ek
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Old 03-24-07, 02:09 AM   #13
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CPH is Copenhaguen .... DK ..Denmark....I'm Spanish my wife is Danish...

Regarding helmets. In CPH one mostly sees little kids wearing helmets. I believe is because there is no "dress code" to bike. One just jumps in the bike and goes. Last new years eve we spent in CPH we biked in TUX and long dress to the party we were invited. Almost everyone else did the same, The only problem is that it gets really tricky to bike back home after having a few drinks (and pushing the bike is worst).
Now, lights and reflectors are another thing, Police is really strick about it...
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Old 03-25-07, 12:31 PM   #14
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I've been wearing a helmet for so long now that I almost feel naked on a bike without one! There's a plan afoot here to have cheap (almost free) rental bikes available around town that we'll be able to grab on the spur of the moment to get from point a to point b. I guess I'll have to get used to riding those sans helmet.
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Old 03-26-07, 01:16 AM   #15
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I visited Copenhagen and loved it

I'm graduating college this year and really want to move either to Denmark or Holland. The only thing I worry about is the language barrier
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Old 03-26-07, 02:06 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Miguelangel
Regarding helmets. In CPH one mostly sees little kids wearing helmets. I believe is because there is no "dress code" to bike.

Now, lights and reflectors are another thing, Police is really strick about it...
In Denmark, children (under 16?) are required by law to wear helmets while riding. Most others (even a lot of racers), don't.

Riding without a light, on the other hand, is a 500 kroner (about 70€ or $80) fine.
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Old 03-26-07, 02:14 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by dwoloz
I visited Copenhagen and loved it

I'm graduating college this year and really want to move either to Denmark or Holland. The only thing I worry about is the language barrier
Man må ikke gør sig bekyminger om sproget. Det gør ikke noget. (That's supposed to say "There's no need to worry about the language. It doesn't matter." Miguelangels wife can correct my grammar.)

I moved here a year ago from the USA and, of course, knew no Danish. I speak it OK, now, but it is very easy to get by without knowing _any_ Danish (though the Danes will appreciate some effort). Nearly everyone speaks English.

I love it here and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

In short, don't let the language stop you from doing something as fun as living abroad for a while.
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Old 03-26-07, 08:01 AM   #18
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The only thing I worry about is the language barrier
All humans, yes even Americans, are hard wired to pick up languages. Just start interacting with other people. Keep everything simple and friendly. The language will come as if by magic. Your accent will be heavy. You will make the worst possible mistakes. So what. All you need is a good sense of humor.
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Old 03-26-07, 08:11 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by chephy
Depends. The usefulness of helmets is highly debatable, as anyone who's ever poked his nose into A&S would know. And as for gloves... I don't know any statistics, but in the many, many falls I've taken as a kid, I've never skinned my palms. Elbows and knees - lots and lots of times. Palms? Nope.

Fenders on the other hand make every ride so much more pleasant.
I've taken skin off the palms of my hands and trust me, I'll never ride gloveless again. I think there must be a huge concentration of pain receptors on our palms.
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Old 03-27-07, 12:48 AM   #20
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...Just start interacting with other people... All you need is a good sense of humor.
I was riding down a narrow country road one day, and came across a man walking his bike. I didn't have a spare tube that day, so i wasn't going to stop until I saw that both of his tires were fully inflated. So, maybe I could help.

"Kan jeg hjælpe dig?" I asked in my best Danish.

He replied with a string of incomprehensible noises, "oyu juo er jo..."

Realizing that I didn't understand, he repeated his words, but this time grabbed his nuts, and thus I learned the Danish words for "I racked myself."

The funniest things happen when you just interact a little.
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Old 03-27-07, 01:02 AM   #21
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All humans, yes even Americans, are hard wired to pick up languages. .
Sorry for not combining my replies, and sorry for the thread hijack, but the OP seems to have run it's course.

An interesting thing about languages is that when you are young, your brain is still capable of hearing virtually any sound. As you age, your brain removes the unneeded connections, and thus you lose the ability to discern new sounds. This can be mitigated to some extent by extensive training, but the best thing is to expose the ears to as many languages as possible while an infant/child, maybe even a teen-ager.

If someone says 'mol' and 'mål' to be right after one another, I can't really hear the difference, since the two sounds are very similar in Danish. But, I can make each sound mechanically more or less OK (according to my friends), _even though I can't really hear the difference when I do it properly_.

It is freakish to make what to me sounds like one sound, but have my friends exclaim "That's it. You got it!"
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