Monday, May 20, 2013

"City of Bikes", by American Pete Jordan

LA Times, AFP/Getty Images
Most of the nearly 400 pages in fact, concern themselves with a breezy, highly detailed account of the origins and history of Dutch bicycle culture. Once upon a time, Americans actually biked more than the Dutch. But then the automobile was invented. Cars chased most bicycles off U.S. streets. The Dutch, living in a small country with little free space, never quite allowed that to happen.  

The bicycle mode-share in the Netherlands is over 35% in the US 1%. Why did the bicycle regain popularity in Holland, what's the benefit? Video: How the Dutch got their cycle-paths.

In Jordan's account of the recent history of the Amsterdam biking scene, there are lessons for Angelenos and residents of other bike-unfriendly cities. If you want a cycling paradise, you're going to have to fight for it. The Dutch did, especially in the counterculture 1970s, in protests and policy fights with cycling's universal enemy, the automobile. Book Review by Hector Tobar, Los Angeles Times/Living/Books.

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