Dutch Planners School U.S. Cities on Bikeability

In the Netherlands, 30 percent of trips under five miles are by bike.

The Dutch like their bike lanes to be continuous, two-way, and separated from traffic so that "bikes flow like water." Image: ##http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tech-transport/do-bike-helmets-save-lives-or-do-they-hurt-cycling.html##Planet Green##

The Dutch like their bike lanes continuous, two-way, and separated from traffic so "bikes flow like water." Image: Planet Green

I know, I know, Euro-envy can get a little old. So the Dutch are trying to give us a little less to be jealous of. What if our streets were as bike-friendly as theirs?

We could get there. Our trip patterns aren’t dramatically different from theirs: most trips in this country are under four miles, or 20 minutes by bike. But here, people drive those short distances. What would it take to get more of us to go by bike?

In September, the Dutch embassy facilitated collaborative workshops between Dutch and local planners and engineers in Toronto and Chicago, evaluating bike facilities in those cities and making recommendations for improvements. This week, they gave their report card to Washington, DC. Next year: Miami and San Francisco; possibly Baltimore and Memphis.

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