Monday, 9 July 2007

Cycle Friendly Cities

This YouTube video is about cycle friendly cities. It shows how bicycles can be part of everyday life and how increasing use results from good town planning, improving awareness of individual needs and the importance of safe coexistence of pedestrians, cyclists and other forms of transport. Holland, Denmark and Columbia are shown as examples. I particularly like the concept of accessible meeting spaces where people come together and can relax in a car free environment.

Here in Blackburn only 1% of commuters use a bike to get to work. In Copenhagen it is 33%. There's a gulf in the difference in the mindset. In England we need to reach critical mass where it feels normal to be able to take the bike anywhere local, whether it is to work, or to a social function.

To get an example of what that 'normal' car-free culture is like, stay somewhere like a Centre Parcs village. Once you leave your car, all facilities are in easy reach by paths and cycle ways. After a few days the driving drug starts to wear off and the cycling bug hits. If we could replicate this model on a larger scale, England could start to catch up with the rest of Europe.

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