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Separated cycling infrastructure key to reaching a future we all want

The video embedded below describes “How the Dutch got their cycle paths“. Key was a rapid increase in the cost of energy – mirroring in a large part, today’s economic crisis.

In the early 1970′s the formation of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) caused a spike in oil prices. In the Netherlands, that lead to a government policy that encouraged cycling transportation. 40 years later the result is an extrodinary decrease in traffic death and injury, shorter average commute distances, and a rise in the quality of life an entire nation.

Today “Peak Oil” and/or the rise of Finance as an dominant sector of the economy, has lead to increased speculation in oil – and has again caused a spike in the price of energy. The same problems as the Netherlands solved through diversifying their transportation planning approach, now offers an example for North America today.

Along with this excellent lesson from a very recent implementation, are the understandings amoungst Urban Planners of the “New Urbanism” school – that cities have reached their peak holding capacity for automobile traffic; and a understanding by climate scientists – that we must reduce carbon emissions going froward or face extreme economic and political hardship in the near future … all pointing that progress lays in this direction.

Some great lessons also in the video for political tactics that might work today – towards beginning a great  project to create separated bicycling infrastructure that is key to reaching the critical mass of commuters that do not use the automobile — in order to result in the quality of live improvement we all – including Mayor Ford – desire.

The project to create connected, separated cycling infrastructure from the suburbs to the cities core would be a generational project that will require an investment of Billions. It would be an investment in the future; a way to jump start the economy today; and a way to pull away from the dead-end economic policies that are leading to less public spending at a time when we must re-new our countries aging, great cities.

Here’s the description – with links intact – from under the video:


Uploaded by  - Oct 9, 2011

The Netherlands is well known for its excellent cycling infrastructure. How did the Dutch get this network of bicycle paths?
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Click CC for subtitles in Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, French, Greek, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish or Turkish.

If you also want to contribute with subtitles in your language please send me a message with your e-mail address, so I can send you the original text file to work with.

“How the Dutch got their cycle paths”




Posted: July 2nd, 2012
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