Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Upside down design of Dutch cities

You will be watching some of the strange phenomenon that make transport planning in Holland looks like upside down:

- bicycle goes faster than car from A to B
- cars are afraid of cyclists
- car always follows bicycle in mix roads
- special under-pass for bicycle in heavy junction
- bike friendly/ car slowing humps
and last but not listed
- 90% of kids cycle to school

This would seem impossible in Singapore. However, some Dutch people living here feel Singapore is an ideal place to implement similar bike-friendly infrastructure. They see the opportunity because they had experienced how it work. Nothing that works there can not be done here.

Technically, I would argue Singapore is not legging behind. I think what is lacking is the awareness of the enormous opportunity of the benefits to each individual and to the society as a whole.

The benefits goes way beyond transportation and includes more active and healthy people, faster and smooth commuting, more fresh air, less traffic noise and less road kills, as well as more friendly communities. The total benefit is difficult to quantify. However just the potential reduction of cardiovascular diseases alone would account for the saving of thousands of good quality lives and hundred millions of dollars in treatment cost each year.

An earlier post by Paul (Resources on Dutch Bicycle Planning) link to a solid reference for Dutch bicycle planning.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Recently, I have this thought, that actually, going from more motorized vehicles to more bicycle (pedal powered commuting machines) should be recognized as an advancement. Of course, first advancement was from very few to more motorized vehicles. For cities and countries where there are many motorized vehicles, it seems that from few to more bicycles would be the next advancement :)