Road building traditions go back a long way and they are influenced by many factors. But the way Dutch streets and roads are built today is largely the result of deliberate political decisions in the 1970s to turn away from the car centric policies of the prosperous post war era. Changed ideas about mobility, safer and more livable cities and about the environment led to a new type of streets in the Netherlands.
The recent video to introduce the Dutch Cycling Embassy explains this very briefly, but there is a lot more that can be said about it. That is why I made a longer video for a more in depth look into the history of cycling infrastructure in the Netherlands.
Please watch this video before you read on.
|Cycling protest tour 1979, Amsterdam.|
|Blackfriars protest tour 2011, London.|
(Picture by Joe Dunckley)
|Painting cycle lanes, Amsterdam 1980|
|Painting cycle lanes, Moscow 2011|
So where then is the difference? The below picture from 1974 says a lot. It shows the then prime minister of the Netherlands Joop den Uyl and his wife, accepting a record from the foundation ‘Stop de kindermoord’ (stop the child murder) with a protest song.
|Prime Minister Joop den Uyl and his wife accepting a record with a protest song by 'Stop de Kindermoord' with the radical title: |
"playing on the streets: death penalty"
Read more posts about campaigning. See examples of what works in the Netherlands.
This guest post by Mark Wagenbuur also appears on his own blog.