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  • The Netherlands is known as a cyclists paradise.

  • Its safety levels, one of the best in the world,

  • are in staggering contrast with the US,

  • where you're around 20 times more likely to be injured while riding a bike.

  • In the Dutch capital nearly half the working population

  • commutes daily on over 500 km of dedicated cycle paths.

  • But the city only narrowly avoided

  • being taken over by cars.

  • Here's how Amsterdam put the brakes on cars

  • to give bikes a chance.

  • Following the Second World War, the mobility and

  • affordability of cars started changing people's lives.

  • Neighbourhoods around the world were being flattened

  • to make way for busy highways.

  • Chicago is moving a city

  • New York striving to keep abreast

  • of the ceaseless teeming traffic

  • Amsterdam wasn't going to be left behind.

  • Streets, once considered public

  • space in the Netherlands, were changing.

  • Their new function was purely for traffic.

  • The number of bikes in Amsterdam plummeted.

  • Between 1960 and 1970 the number of cars in the country quadrupled,

  • jamming the traditionally narrow streets.

  • Engineers and city planners wanted to modernise

  • Amsterdam to make it more car-friendly.

  • They proposed ideas like; filling in the famous canals with concrete,

  • levelling historic neighbourhoods, and building expressways and monorails.

  • This is what Amsterdam would have looked like in 2000

  • if the Das brothers had realised their futuristic vision.

  • Unsurprisingly, there was opposition.

  • Anarchist group Provo came up with the world's first bike and car sharing schemes.

  • They didn't take off at the time, but the sentiment to keep Amsterdam light on cars

  • was shared.

  • Dutch road fatalities peaked in 1972.

  • In response, protest groups like Stop De Kindermoord, orStop Murdering Children"

  • were organising blockades of areas with high accident rates to make their point.

  • Then, in 1973,  the oil crisis sent fuel prices skyward, prompting the Dutch government

  • to ban motor vehicles for one day a week.

  • Reaction here to the Sunday motoring ban has been mixed.

  • The unions and the hoteliers are angry and annoyed.”

  • But the sales of bicycles started to rise.

  • Pressure groups jumped at the opportunity to show citizens how Amsterdam could look

  • without cars.

  • The government took notice and in 1978 introduced the Traffic Circulation Plan

  • to make Amsterdam less attractive to drivers.

  • It called for the closure of certain streets to traffic, reduction in car parking spaces

  • and gave priority to cyclists and pedestrians.

  • Amsterdam started embracing 'Woonerf' -

  • or 'living streets' - a concept that was already successful

  • in reducing traffic casualties outside of the capital.

  • The specially designed zones are landscaped to slow drivers down.

  • Without sidewalks, drivers share the space with cyclists and pedestrians and have to

  • move at walking pace.

  • Making Amsterdam more bike-friendly was really about making the city less friendly for cars.

  • Now, almost a quarter of the Dutch population cycles every day,

  • with 75% of children cycling to secondary school.

  • The number of cyclists on the road also makes it safer -

  • research shows a correlation between higher numbers of bikes and lower casualties among cyclists.

  • If Amsterdam's story is anything to go by  - there is not only safety but also power

  • in numbers.

  • Just as important as cycling lanes and car controls,

  • is getting people on bikes in the first place.

The Netherlands is known as a cyclists paradise.


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阿姆斯特丹如何成為自行車天堂 (How Amsterdam Became a Bicycle Paradise)

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    Li-chieh Young 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日