The reason why it’s pleasant to cycle here is because the infrastructure removes conflict. so you don’t have people cycling in close proximity to fast cars or big trucks… so this is relatively peaceful.
why is Groningen so awesome? because back in the late 1970s, some left-wing liberal politicos implemented a transit plan that divided the city into four quadrants—restricting car access from one quadrant to the next—and built a ring road around the city center. So for example if you want to go from Point A to Point B, it could take you 20 mins by car—detouring out on the ring road, while cycling would take half the time—by direct route inside the city center.
The main difference between the US and the Netherlands is that cycling is not seen as transportation in the US by the general public. Only very few people use the bicycle to go from A to B for their daily business…
The social pressure to wear a helmet in the US is enormous and it is almost completely absent in the Netherlands…
Traffic makes that cyclists seem to be in a constant “hurry”. Not surprising that cycling this way only appeals to a small group: the younger and fitter adults, mostly male.
Why Can’t We Have Glow-in-the-Dark Highways Like the Netherlands? slate, 04.01.13.
you’ve probably watched that video / read the news about this already earlier this week, but..
they’re doing this for cycle tracks, too, in the Netherlands!
I couldn’t embed the bbc video so I put up the highway one instead, but watch it here: Dutch try heated cycle tracks and glow in the dark roads.
yeeah geothermal energy! and proper cost/benefit analysis! it would be cool to have those wind-activated lights like they’re planning for alongside highways, but cyclists probably won’t be going too fast to activate them.
nice direct cycle paths for wheelchair/handbike/adaptive bike users instead of being forced on sidewalks with badly placed utility boxes and dangerous ups-and-downs of ada curbs (or worse, lack of them).
interesting: the NL had bike lanes and bike boxes in the 80s. Now in the US cities are fighting for bike lanes. and cities that already have bike lanes are trying to get some extra safety via bike boxes and the like. So the US is about 30 years behind the NL. reason to visit the Netherlands: “I’m going to the future.”