With a bike mode share of 50 percent, the Dutch city of Groningen is a leading example of a bike-friendly city. StreetFilm documents how a mix of transportation policy, location and chance helped Groningen develop into this world-class cycling city.
Archive for the ‘Video’ Category
Today, a tweet from one of our Bicycle Ambassadors caught my eye:
I notice them, too, the people who have their phones tucked on their laps, glancing down to read or type a message. Kelli makes a good point that if you want to spend time on your phone, make use of your time by sitting on public transit. It’s a great way to check out of traffic, catch up on messages, relax and read without putting anyone at risk. In case you’re unfamiliar with Washington’s cell phone law, it’s pretty simple: all drivers, regardless of age, are not permitted to use a hand-held device while driving.
If you haven’t seen the latest documentary directed by Werner Herzog about texting and driving, find 35 minutes and watch. Better yet, if you have a friend who has a problem with putting down the phone, have them park it and watch. If laws won’t make them hang it up, maybe seeing how their actions can change everything in a second will. The film has no stats, no laws, no actors. Just cold hard reality.
It took Amsterdam 40 years to become the bicycling city we know today. London is taking on that change now as well, confronting the challenges of cultural shift, changing demographic demands and urban roadway redesigns. Take a few minutes to read this BBC News report and watch this in-depth video. See any parallels to Seattle?
If yesterday’s editorial in The Seattle Times is any indication, Seattle has looked in the mirror and is ready for change, too. It’s going to take more than editorials and letters and rides. It’s going to take an adjustment in our priorities, funding and political will to get where we want to go: a connected network of all-ages and abilities bike infrastructure where it’s safe for everyone to get around by bicycle.
In the Netherlands, a huge spike in fuel costs and in cyclists’ deaths, including the horrifying figure of 450 children, brought people together to demand change. They looked in a mirror in the 1970s, didn’t like what they saw, and committed to the hard work of making changes. The video below documenting their pathway through change gives me never-ending inspiration. I have watched it many times and never tire of it.
As the narrator says: “The Netherlands were and are not unique. Their solutions, then, should not be either.”
And neither are Seattle’s.
It’s loud. It’s funny looking. It’s pointless, really. But it’s also very innovative and I must admit, I kind of want to try it, wouldn’t you?