Let me be clear; Amsterdam does not equal Portland. Tim said it, I say it, they’re different geographies. They’re different cultures. As Michael mentioned in last week’s comments, a lot of people in Oregon worked hard, and continue to work diligently, to change the legislation that will support more bike infrastructure.
I talked to a Dutch lady who frankly stated, “Americans do what’s best for the individual. We do what’s best for the most people.” That shows in the way they’ve chosen to give over most of the street to mass transit and bike transit because those facilities provide for the greatest number of users per unit area.
The facilities the Dutch chose, make it easy to get around without a car. We’ve chosen the opposite. But what if we thought of people first?
Amsterdam is pancake flat, but some of Portland’s suburbs are pretty flat too. What if we created a Slow Transit movement. It would be fun, relaxing, and healthful.
What if we thought of designing places for people first and cars second?
There weren’t a lot of cyclists in Amsterdam. There were a lot of people who rode bikes. The facilities make it easy for them to get there without a lot of gear.
I’m not saying build it and they will ride, but if we don’t, what’s going to change?