Americans getting inspired by the Dutch

Source: BicycleDutch

It’s summer time, the time for travels! I know a number of Americans who are visiting the Netherlands right now. To see how the Dutch are cycling and to get inspired by the cycling culture in this country. Clarence Eckerson (from Streetfilms) came from New York to shoot some video. Professor Peter Furth from Northeastern University in Boston is here with a class of students learning about Sustainable Transportation on a Summer course. And two of my personal friends from Phoenix Arizona are here on holidays looking forward to having a go at cycling to the beach with me.

Last year Peter Furth explained why he comes to the Netherlands every year with a new class of students. It was broadcast on the local television station of Pijnacker, a small satellite town of The Hague and it got only a few views on YouTube. But what professor Furth has to say deserves much more attention. I have subtitled the few Dutch lines in the video and hope this interview gets the bigger audience it deserves. I met Peter Furth and his students last year. I will see this year’s students later this month.

Professor Peter Furth on what the Americans can learn from the Netherlands.
More on “stroopwafels“.
Clarence Eckerson of StreetFilms is on a small tour of the Netherlands visiting Amsterdam (of course) but also Groningen, where he’ll get a tour from David Hembrow. A very good decision to also have a look past Amsterdam, I think. There is more to cycling in the Netherlands than what you see in the centre of Amsterdam. The rest of the country is as interesting, if not more interesting, for the reasons Professor Furth already explained in his interview. Unfortunately the schedules of Clarence and myself don’t seem allow for a meeting this time. But I expect Clarence to be as inspired as he hopes to be. He sure is having a great time judging from the short video he posted today. If you find the time to make that on your hotel room with such busy schedule, than you must have a real drive to share that with the world. That in turn is inspirational to me.

Some Things You Might See While In Amsterdam

Tomorrow I will make a cycle tour with my two personal friends from Phoenix who finally came to the Netherlands again. We have known each other for over eleven years now but this will be the first time we’ll cycle together.

A team of StreetFilms had visited the Netherlands before and they made an -already classic- video “From the Netherlands to America: translating the world’s best bikeway designs” . They stated why they came to the Netherlands for inspiration:

More than ever, American cities are casting their gazes across the Atlantic for fresh ideas and inspiration when it comes to making bicycling safer, more convenient and more practical for everyday short trips. No place in the world has more experience with bicycle transportation than the Netherlands, where more than a quarter of every trip made is on two wheels. But bicycling isn’t ingrained in Dutch DNA. The Netherlands became a global leader because of very deliberate choices made by city leaders and traffic planners that made bicycle transportation a real priority, backed up with supportive policy, funding and state-of-the-art design.

Streetfilms Video “From the Netherlands to America” (with a very small contibution of yours truly)

Earlier this year a delegation from Portland was also in the Netherlands to learn about cycling while I did the reverse of all these people by having a look at cycling in the US from a Dutch perspective.