Cycling in the US – From a Dutch Perspective

Article by Andrew Rhodes

Mark Wagenbuur of Bicycle Dutchprovides a humorously dry, David Attenborough-meets-William Whyte, short film on the contrast of bicycle infrastructure and culture between the streets of the United States and his native Netherlands.

Case studying Chicago, San Francisco and the student town of Davis, CA., Wagenbuur initially points to the difference in cycling culture is as much based on public perceptions as it is on evolving cycling infrastructure. Presently the risk of cyclists being hit on U.S. roads to Amsterdam is a thirty-foldcontrast.

The United States citizen – as a general rule – cycles primarily for leisure, not A-B as does the average Dutch citizen. Together with burgeoning public bike-share programs, small investments in upgrading U.S. infrastructure may be the easiest catalyst to provide bikes the necessary handicap to more safely engage in public areas. Some may also say fewer ‘road bikes’ and a little less lycra on non-European roads could be a positive byproduct.

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