Video: Can The Dutch Teach Decatur Something About Biking?

Decatur Commissioner Fred Boykin shares a video that shows how the Dutch integrated biking into their transportation system.

Decatur City Commissioner Fred Boykin, owner of a bike shop, passed along this great video from the Dutch Cycling Embassy. The group describes itself as a network of private companies, universities and research institutions and national and local governments.

The 7-minute, 22-second video, "Cycling for Everyone," tells how that European nation made major changes in its transportation system decades ago to accommodate bicyclists.

It starts with historical footage accompanied by omnious background music, then switches to the modern day with a repetitive pop riff that sticks in your brain.

In the modern-day part of the video, a young woman purchases a bike, cruises through clean city streets, parks at a train station, boards the train, rents a bike at the next station, and rides along a canal before reaching her multi-cultural classroom. A narrator describes the environmental and safety aspects of biking.

The video is relevant for Decatur because the city .

Readers, do you see any ideas in the video that the city could use? Or is the video simply Dutch propaganda? Tell us what you think by commenting at the bottom of the story.

By the way, Patch contacted the Dutch Bicycling Embassy and they gave us permission to post the video. 

Boykin has sharp words at the Oct. 3 commission meeting about the bike lanes proposed for Church Street and other thoroughfares in the city.

He said the 4-foot bike lanes are way too narrow for such a busy street. That represents a design standard that's out of date by probably two decades, he said. Other cities are building bike lanes that 5 feet wide or more.

Later, he sent Patch an email expanding on his remarks.

"I was not trying to antagonize anyone or accuse any staff folks of doing a poor job," he wrote. "Instead I wanted to make the point that it takes a very long time to complete these infrastructure projects and we should be watching very closely the discussions and drafts of future updates to the guidelines. Whoever we hire needs to on top of that. I want us to have the first 'concrete' example of the new standards, not the last example of 'old style' technology."







Nonie Ravenberg October 20, 2011 at 12:57 PM
I think a research trip to Amsterdam is in order!
AWilliams October 20, 2011 at 02:36 PM
Decatur definitely needs to move forward with this.
john penn October 22, 2011 at 03:45 PM
Amsterdam? Yes!
Jon Deere October 23, 2011 at 05:42 AM
man you can smoke pot and ride a bike there.


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