Published on November 28th, 2012 | by Don Aliff
Too Much Of A Good Thing? Dutch Bike Lanes Clogged With Commuters
Environmental issues aside, we all know Americans are at the mercy of expensive gas prices and we all frankly need more exercise in general. When it comes to saving money and getting fit a bike is a relatively inexpensive alternative than a car. However, studying a place where bike riding is prevalent shows it’s own distinct set of problems.
Bikes seem like a simple solution to many of the environmental issues currently facing America. With global temperatures on the rise many cities are updating their road infrastructure with bike lanes partially in an attempt to curb greenhouse gas emissions. It’s certainly a noble endeavor in many other ways as well. But in The Netherlands the bike-to-person ratio is nearly synonymous. You’ll see roads crowded with bikes instead of cars.
t’s a daily necessity that ends up saving the country impressive amounts of money for their roads and public transportation system. Problem is, the Dutch currently just don’t have the infrastructure for the incredible number of bikes on their streets. There are not enough parking spaces, and the roads too narrow to accommodate the traffic despite an extensive bike-only infrastructure that includes dedicated “highways”. It’s leading to rampant injury and road rage.
Will a huge investment in updated roads fix all these issues? Hard to say, but if it works it could be the standard bearer for the rest of the world when it comes to green travel. Maybe it’s not something that could work on a large scale in a bigger nation, but at least our major cities could cut back their greenhouse gas emissions. Every little bit helps.