Friday, September 17, 2010

10 Lessons from the Low Lands

Velo Mondial spoke with David Vega-Barachowitz who writes the wonderful Ramblers Highway blog. He describes ten impediments to the widespread practical usage of the bicycle in the United States. The headings are: First. Terrain. Topography. Climate. The Netherlands is flat. The United States is not flat. Second. Sprawl. The Netherlands is an incredibly dense place. Third. Infrastructure and Facilities.  Fourth. Critical Mass As cities like New York or Minneapolis are quickly realizing, the installation of painted bicycle lanes is not enough. Fifth. Culture. Upbringing. The cultural differences between the US and the Netherlands represents a lengthy and complex topic. Sixth. Car culture. People in the United States are proud of their cars. Seventh.  Funding Speaking of funding, the Dutch have high taxes. Very high taxes.  Eighth. Policy. Policy is perhaps the trickiest piece of the puzzle and one of the least understood. Ninth. Multi-modal transportation network.  Tenth. Culture of Exercise. The culture of exercise and activity in the US is biased towards the young.