If We’re Really Serious About This….
Politically, it may be advantageous to talk about “balance” and to try to squeeze better biking, walking, and transit into the left-over margins, but to actually make our city more accessible and safe, and less traffic-choked, we need to adopt and stick to a policy that helps make it easier to bicycle, walk, and take transit in our city than to drive – at least for most people for most trips.
I was able to see example after example of Amsterdam planners and politicians making it easier and more convenient to ride a bicycle while making it just a little less convenient — though by no means impossible — for those who need to drive.
None of this means that people are not allowed to drive a car in Amsterdam. It just means that people may drive on streets that are narrower in order to make room for new bike paths, and that they must go slower (improving safety for all, including drivers). Sometimes they may need to travel a block or two out of the way, but can always get where they want to go.
Lots more here - http://sf.streetsblog.org/2011/09/19/le ... Ek.twitter (San Franciscan who visited Amsterdam)
To encourage more people to cycle shorter distances we need to separate the casual from the commuter, instead of lumping them both in together. We need to lose the Lycra and reclaim the free-wheeling, childhood joy that cycling should be about.
Bike hire schemes are just the start and it can’t end there or else we’ll forever be stuck at 2%. World class cities from Seoul to San Francisco have ripped out highways, closed areas to vehicle traffic, expanded rapid bus transit and light rail systems, launched bike- and car-sharing services and built up the dense, walkable neighbourhoods that are in ever-rising demand. It is this level of systems thinking that will be vital in increasing bicycle usage. It’s not just the bike; it’s a whole way of life.
The main problem is in the way cycling is sold to the general public: as a tool to do something that most people don’t like to do – go to work.
Think about how cars were originally sold to the commuter. There is no mention of what the car was (ultimately) going to be used for. The ads promoted the freedom and possibilities that came to be associated with the automobile. The main approach from the bike industry, by contrast, has been to isolate itself from the casual and pander to the niche, macho and techie sub-cultures of cycling. Trying to sell these same bikes to a different market isn’t going to cut it. There’s a real opportunity here to ‘think differently’ about the way we look at cycling in London.
http://thisbigcity.net/radically-rethin ... in-london/