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Learning from the Dutch the right way to do it.........

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Learning from the Dutch the right way to do it.........

Old 11-15-10, 05:07 PM
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Nightshade
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Learning from the Dutch the right way to do it.........

I just finished reading this article that details the growing interest at state and local levels in using bicycles to replace cars for percentage of all travel functions.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9RATQKiOZE

The article to read to see for yourself the ways a bicycle can make your life better and easier.........

Worldchanging: Bright Green: A Week of Biking Joyously: An American Delegation Learns from the Dutch

While many will poo-poo the very idea of a bicycle for daily transport ,for some task, this change is coming like it or not. Our local/state gov't just need to learn how to implement these changes......the right way.

IMO ,just as in the article, make it safe to bike and more people will.
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 11-15-10, 05:55 PM
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Government can encourage and do infrastructure improvements such as well engineered bike lanes that will make bike riders feel safer while riding. They can also encourage bike use for transportation by installing, and requiring businesses to install, bicycle parking that meets certain standards. Increasing taxes on fuel and increased motor vehicle registration fees can also help. The use of the car has been heavily subsidized in the USA for almost it's full history.

Some of us are already commuting and shopping by bicycle. I just hauled home 3 full paper bags of groceries and a 12 pack of Sam Adams Octoberfest on my Big Dummy.
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Old 11-16-10, 01:33 PM
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Having good infrastructure for cycling is important, but we also need to emulate another aspect of Dutch culture- that physical activity is an innate part of your daily life, not just something that you cram into it when and if it's convenient. Every morning, in my suburb, there are long lines of car-bound parents dropping their kids off at school and then fighting miles of additional car traffic to get to work. Until we're free from the mindset that our bodies are convenient cupholders for our brains, it will be difficult to acheive major gains in cycling as a way of life.

Last edited by rnorris; 11-16-10 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 11-16-10, 01:54 PM
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I'm sure that there are many things that could improve the number of cyclists in the USA, but it should be mentioned, that the statistical comparison with Amsterdam is a bit unfair. It's hard to imagine a city that's made for the bike more perfectly than Amsterdam and I'm not sure something comparable exists in the US.
Amsterdam is very compact for a city of that size, you can get just about anywhere in 20minutes or so on a bike; it is completely flat and cars are quite unpractical because the streets are narrow and parking spaces sparse. I think it would be more productive to look for a more realistic comparison. LA can never be even remotely like that even if you raise the price of a gallon of gas to $25 and institute a 20mph speed limit.
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Old 11-16-10, 05:11 PM
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Neat article. Makes me want to move to the Netherlands - specifically to that canal district. The problem in America is that so many Americans don't care and don't want their city and local governments spending time or money on bicycle-friendly programs and infrastructure. I live in one of the more bicycle-friendly parts of the country and we just barely passed a local proposition to create a new transportation authority that will focus on encouraging and improving bus service, pedestrian, and bicycle commuting. This new authority will subsidize bus service, add more bike lanes, repair sidewalks, make pedestrian crossings safer, and promote bicycle and pedestrian safety. It will be paid for by a new sales tax. It's a very small tax, but some are so against it that there has been a bit of a backlash against bicycle commuters with people complaining that they don't want to pay for some smug cyclist's bike lane, or have to deal with more bicyclists on major routes taking up more of the road. One of the most contested routes is a road through downtown that is mostly two lane, but switches to four lane for about a mile or so. A new bike route will convert that mile of road to two lane. Of course many motorists are complaining, despite the fact that this one mile stretch goes past a high school and an elementary school where a child was sadly struck and killed by a motorist last month while she crossed at the walk with her mother. Shrinking this stretch of road to one lane each way (plus one bike lane each way) will make it safer for bicyclists and the school students, but of course some motorists just can't stand to be inconvenienced. Many motorists here are bicycle-friendly though, and probably commute by bicycle at least some of the time.

There is a sense of entitlement about driving in the United States. To be American is to be able to get into your own car and drive anywhere you want to go as fast as you want to risk. That is why we will never be like the Dutch - not even close. San Francisco and Portland, Oregon might come closest, but they are outliers. I'm not anti-car, but I did live car-free for six years and my wife and I now share one car that we try to use sparingly. I'm glad that our city is as bicycle-friendly as it is.

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Old 11-16-10, 06:31 PM
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While we may subsidize autos in the US before we start packing our bags to move we might want to check the complicated tax rate they have.

There are some exceptions but they seem to tax everything at a much higher rate than we are used to paying.
1. Income tax starting at 34 percent for people earning 17,317 EUR to 52 percent if you make as much as 53+K EUR. The lowest rate is still three times higher than a couple making 60K a year in the US.
2. You could pay an additional 25 percent if you had substantial stock interest in a company.
3. If you don’t have substantial interest but simply have investments in the market and a savings account you could pay another 30 percent.
To paraphrase an old Jefferson Letter, to take from those who can to give to those who can’t or won’t is a sin. JMHO
Before someone says that isn’t a lot of taxes ask how many would take a 30 to 50 percent cut in pay to help our economy. From a personal perspective it would be the same thing.
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Old 11-16-10, 11:13 PM
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I'll answer the above by saying only that among many other things, the infrastructure for Bicycles is amazing. Denmark is another place I'd love to visit on tour.
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Old 11-17-10, 11:04 AM
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I lived in Holland for three years and it is indeed awesome if you're into bicycling.
But, Holland is a much smaller country, and its infrastructure was established in that idyllic, pre-industrial age before the advent of the automobile, (and that infrastructure is easily adapted for cycling.)

There are places in the US (Portland comes to mind) where they've successfully adapted a post-automobile infrastructure to suit the bicycle, but you can't expect the Dutch ideal to work in places like Nevada and Arizona.
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Old 11-17-10, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by calamarichris View Post
There are places in the US (Portland comes to mind) where they've successfully adapted a post-automobile infrastructure to suit the bicycle, but you can't expect the Dutch ideal to work in places like Nevada and Arizona.
I disagree to a point. Cycling can be adapted to any place or time with a little thought and/or effort. That said, very few places in America will be 100% but every mile on a bike is one less gas sucking/polluting mile by car.
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My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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