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From the Netherlands to America: Translating the World’s Best Bikeway Designs
Elizabeth Press, Streetfilms
The Netherlands is widely recognized for having the highest cycling rates in the world. What’s not so well known is that the Dutch don’t bike so much because cycling is in their DNA. They do it because after the country started down the path toward car dependence, they made a conscious decision to change course. After many decades of deliberate policy to invest in cycling as a mode of transportation, the Netherlands has the most advanced bike infrastructure you’ll ever see.
Recenty Streetfilms joined a group of city leaders from Chicago, Washington, DC and Miami on a study tour of the Netherlands, through the Bikes Belong Foundation’s Bicycling Design Best Practices Program.
(7 March 2012)
Bicycle Symbolism – Towards the Future
Mikael Colville-Andersen, Copenhagenize.com
When people in most cultures see art or photgraphy, our brain sees movement from left to right and interprets the piece based on that.
The German historian and psychologist Rudolf Arnheim who wrote, among other books, “Art and visual perception – A psychology of the creative eye” noticed that the way many cultures read – from left to right – has an influence on the way we look at art or photography.
‘Since a picture is “read” from left to right, pictorial movement toward the right is perceived as being easier, requiring less effort’.…
At top left, the girl in the poncho looks like she is struggling into a snowblown headwind, which she was. At bottom left, by flipping the photo horizontally, she looks like she is sailing on a tailwind. The pedestrians, as well…
So here’s a crazy Copenhagenize idea.
Let’s get all subliminal. Let’s flip our bicycle pictograms on the streets and signage to send a sub-conscious message to all those who ‘read’ them. It’s an inexpensive solution to influence perception of cycling.
Send the bicycle from left to right – not only so we can see the damned chainguard – but to broadcast the symbolism of a progressive future.
(8 March 2012)
How Millennials Feel about Cars, Public Transit and Electric Vehicles
Neil Chambers, Treehugger
Since late September, I’ve traveled across the United States talking to students about their thoughts on the green movement and major concerns like climate change, energy, transportation and green buildings. Cars come up over and over. They are not impressed with the options for alternative transport. If automobile companies don’t listen to these concerns, they will be the losers when the upcoming generation makes up the dominant segment of the global market.
Millennials are smart, sustainability-minded and savvy consumers. They want to do their part to save the planet, but don’t want to spend more money to do it. At least, that’s what I’ve heard from college students from every region in the U.S. They are unhappy about the problems associated with vehicles, from big ones like pollution from cars and trucks to the smaller pains like finding parking. They hate waiting in traffic and don’t love the cost of maintaining vehicles. They dislike the amount of land used for parking lots, roads and highways, and they loath the alternatives car companies are offering.
(6 March 2012)