Dutch Man Critiques Our Garbage Cycling Infrastructure

If you've read more than, say, 10 posts on this blog, chances are you are familiar with many of the criticisms in the above video.  Nevertheless, the insights of this Dutch man has he travels through Chicago, Davis, Lake Tahoe, and San Francisco help illustrate just how crappy our nation's cycling infrastructure is.

[Bicycle Dutch | h/t Tuffy]

Comments (12)

So what do we do?

Move to the Netherlands, of course.

Lol! Ok, so the dude says our system sucks… because we didn’t know it. Now what? I’m going to go to the Netherlands and complain about driving.

Does infrastructure equate to culture? What I see is the majority of cyclists and drivers bring the same attitude of impatience and combativeness to the road. In this culture people don’t like to wait, much less slow down. It’s idiotic.

This. I’ve become a far more defensive driver in the city than ever and its mainly because I never trust pedestrians and cyclists to follow any rules of the road. The wiggle is a total nightmare and I fear the day that I collide with someone who’s blowing through a stop sign full speed.

The idea is that as cycling infrastructure improves, increased safety and comfort make more cyclists comfortable. As the diversity of cyclists increases, the stereotypical asshole cyclist becomes a smaller component of the cycling population. It’s easy to see this in action by visiting a city or even a part of San Francisco with good bicycle infrastructure. Demographic shifts can bring cultural shifts as well.

the NL is small, flat, and has about ¼ the car density of SF, so yea, it is going to be better for bikes….

The Netherlands is a tiny flat country tailor made for bicycle traffic and their bike lanes aren’t in the street, they are next to the sidewalk. It couldn’t be more “perfect”. He’s got some good points, in NL people on bikes are generally going slow and there are no douchebags on fixies (Berlin is the only city in Europe and Asia where I have seen those). Davis is very similar to this, a flat suburbanesque town with people in a much less hurry than SF. It is never going to be perfect in San Francisco because of the terrain, a small mountainous densely populated city entirely overrun with cars, which are viewed by the $F money power as too precious an instrument of commerce to restrict from certain streets. Biking is viewed by a vast majority of Americans as an exercise and not a mode of transportation. I mean, it is virtually impossible to eat a big mac, drink a coke and talk on your phone while riding a bike.

The Netherlands also has long, cold, wet, dark winters. That’s not quite ‘tailor-made’ for biking, but they do it anyway, year-round, because the roads are set up so well. (We may have hills here, but it’s never hot and it’s never cold.) It wasn’t always like that; the current situation, like that in Denmark, is the result of a series of decisions made as far back as the 1960’s, and constantly improved on, always favoring bikes and pedestrians at the expense of cars. It’s not just how their country ‘naturally’ is; they decided they didn’t like a car-dominated landscape, and worked to make something else. Things have improved a lot here, but there is still a long way to go. It can be done. The man in this video may not realize how much worse things were here as recently as the 1990’s.

Fucking tourists driving on Market Street complaining about signs telling drivers what to do and what not to do, like the ones he and his buddy missed that told them to turn off of Market Street…

Apparently you are biking wrong if you are going fast or aren’t riding in an upright position?

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