Monday, August 13, 2018

A Coupled Infrastructure Perspective on Cycling

I recently saw the Dutch documentary Why we cycle which provides an integrated perspective of the role of cycling in Dutch society. Not only allow cycling people to go from A to B in a densely populated country like the Netherlands, it also provides other benefits such as cognitive and physical exercise, and stimulate the random encounters between people of different parts of society reinforcing the egalitarian societal landscape. People meet and get in a conversation waiting for a stop-sign to get green.
Obviously the biophysical context, a flat country, enables the use of bikes (but note that it rains every other day, and Dutch will continue to use the bicyle, even if it snows). The infrastructure for bicycles is excellent in the Netherlands, while the dense occupation makes it impossible for people in cities to use cars in a convinient way. As such the use of bicycles is also a cost-effective solution to solve mobility problems. And as the Prime Minister and the King also use the bicycle, there is a strong social norm to use bicycle for short to middle distance trips.