What American biking looks like to a Dutch person (video)

July 08, 2013

Michael Andersen

There might be no better way to learn about yourself than to see yourself through someone else's eyes. For better or worse, that's exactly what this video does for U.S. streets.

Via BikePortland, check out this short, remarkable essay by a bemused Dutch bike advocate visiting the States:

"You have to cycle surrounded by motor traffic!" marvels the videographer, Mark Wagenbuur. Even on his visit to America's bikingest city, Davis, Calif., he finds that using a bike to get around "seems like a chase."

See 2:34 through 3:41 for a discussion close to our own hearts: the difference between "useless paint" and a protected green lane — and keep watching from there for Wagenbuur's discussion of the spots even the best American green lanes often fail: intersections.

As Wagenbuur writes in the associated blog post, his vacation last month took him to Davis, Chicago, San Francisco and rural Nevada. Wagenbuur seems to have discovered, in reverse, why the Green Lane Project helps pay for American street designers and policymakers to visit Northern Europe: when it comes to modern bike innovations, seeing is believing. But it's nice to know that by the end of the trip he'd made a very sensible conclusion: "There could be a good future for cycling in the U.S." We couldn't have said it better ourselves.

See all Protected Bike Lanes blog entries

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