Compare / Contrast -- Holland / United States - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-20-2005, 04:23 AM
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I won't provide any commentary here.
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#2 Old 08-20-2005, 04:48 AM
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#3 Old 08-20-2005, 10:06 AM
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The countries in general or the two spots where you chose to take pictures? I can walk across the street any day school is in session and get a shot with about that many bikes, if that is what you are getting at.
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#4 Old 08-20-2005, 10:11 AM
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mikie and his bikes



My bf also found that many parts of Holland had a great bike culture.



But, I thought SF was more open-minded then many cities to non-car transportation.
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#5 Old 08-20-2005, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by FreshTart View Post

mikie and his bikes



My bf also found that many parts of Holland had a great bike culture.



But, I thought SF was more open-minded then many cities to non-car transportation.



The Holland picture appears to have been taken in or near the city center. San Francisco is what you see about 20 miles in the background in the second shot.
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#6 Old 08-20-2005, 12:21 PM
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http://www.ibike.org/library/statistics.htm



I can see several factors why the Dutch situation is like it is:



- It's easy and safe*, due to separate bike paths, etc.

- The country is rather small, temperate, flat (really) and densely populated.

- Gas is more expensive over here.



* This probably doesn't include Amsterdam, but compared to London, cycling in Amsterdam seems rather safe.
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#7 Old 08-20-2005, 12:26 PM
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* This does surely include Amsterdam as well, although Almelo is always safer.
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#8 Old 08-20-2005, 05:24 PM
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Wow. Those Low Countries sure seem like a nice place, even though I've broken both my arms riding a bike.
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#9 Old 08-20-2005, 05:33 PM
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Wow. Those Low Countries sure seem like a nice place, even though I've broken both my arms riding a bike.

At different times. And I've gone done many more steep hills and careened into more bushes that you, and look at me! No broken arms!
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#10 Old 08-20-2005, 06:47 PM
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I would love to bike more, (or at all.. i don't currently OWN a bike or anything) but I am absolutely terrified of getting hit by a car. I think if I lived someplace where it was "the norm" to bike everywhere, I'd absolutely do it.

http://megatarian.blogspot.com
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#11 Old 08-20-2005, 09:29 PM
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I fear getting hit by a car while in a car far more then when I am on my bike.



And that includes when I am making a lefthand turn with a total of 5 lanes of traffic on either side of me.
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#12 Old 08-20-2005, 10:00 PM
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>>I fear getting hit by a car while in a car far more then when I am on my bike. >>



Not me. People seem to enjoy not looking while turning into me.



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#13 Old 08-20-2005, 11:55 PM
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girl2beaver ~ I share both your praise of the frequent bike-use and fear---I broke my arm once from a bike accident! It's hard to get back on!
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#14 Old 08-21-2005, 12:57 AM
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Taxes. If we taxed petrol as much in the States as they do in Holland, then more people would ride bikes.



Not that I am advocating more gasoline taxes or anything like that. I don't think there should be any taxes on gasoline, outside of a sales tax.



We could do for more bike lanes as well, and more stores need real safe bike stands.



Chicken or the egg though.
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#15 Old 08-21-2005, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by remilard View Post

The countries in general or the two spots where you chose to take pictures? I can walk across the street any day school is in session and get a shot with about that many bikes, if that is what you are getting at.

Forty-three percent of trips in Holland are made my bike. In San Francisco, a supposedly bike-friendly city in the United States, it's 2.8%. I don't need to "get at" anything. The facts speak very well for themselves.



I posted these photos because they compare contrast places that are designed well and sustainably, and in my opinion, designed pretty terribly and unsustainably. It doens't have anything to do with bikes, per se. I wish you wouldn't be so hasty in replying with assumptive posts with negative tones.

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Originally Posted by remilard View Post

The Holland picture appears to have been taken in or near the city center. San Francisco is what you see about 20 miles in the background in the second shot.

In Holland, city center or not, cities were, and still are, designed to be pedestrian friendly. Pedestrian-friendly places are designed for people and not for automobiles. Special attention is given to zoning and residential buildings are within walkable distances from non-residential places. Cars become unnecessary.



San Francisco is not 20 miles away in that photo. That photo was taken inside San Francisco and city hall is about four miles from where I was standing. The majority of the city is like what is seen in the picture--unnecessarily wide roads, few bike lanes, and zoning that moves commercial space beyond walkable distances. A friend I have in Amsterdam lives on the outer-edge of the city. She lives on a residential street and is within a five minute walk from a large shopping plaza (that is not surrounded by parking lots) with grocery stores, clothing stores, electronic stores, a library, et cetera. Even on the outer edge of the city, unlike San Francisco, every road has a bike lane and usable sidewalks and the city's zoning is well done.
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#16 Old 08-21-2005, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by aintnomeaning View Post

Taxes. If we taxed petrol as much in the States as they do in Holland, then more people would ride bikes.



Not that I am advocating more gasoline taxes or anything like that. I don't think there should be any taxes on gasoline, outside of a sales tax.



We could do for more bike lanes as well, and more stores need real safe bike stands.



Chicken or the egg though.

I agree with you. I wouldn't mind paying $20 a gallon for petrol if it would mean people would buy less of it.
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#17 Old 08-21-2005, 06:01 AM
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girl2beaver ~ I share both your praise of the frequent bike-use and fear---I broke my arm once from a bike accident! It's hard to get back on!

Ah yes, bike accidents. As Pasta so kindly pointed out, I have broken each arm, on two separate occasions. How was I supposed to know that there were rocks at the bottom of a drainage ditch?
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#18 Old 08-21-2005, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by mikie View Post

Forty-three percent of trips in Holland are made my bike. In San Francisco, a supposedly bike-friendly city in the United States, it's 2.8%. I don't need to "get at" anything. The facts speak very well for themselves.



I posted these photos because they compare contrast places that are designed well and sustainably, and in my opinion, designed pretty terribly and unsustainably. It doens't have anything to do with bikes, per se. I wish you wouldn't be so hasty in replying with assumptive posts with negative tones.



In Holland, city center or not, cities were, and still are, designed to be pedestrian friendly. Pedestrian-friendly places are designed for people and not for automobiles. Special attention is given to zoning and residential buildings are within walkable distances from non-residential places. Cars become unnecessary.



San Francisco is not 20 miles away in that photo. That photo was taken inside San Francisco and city hall is about four miles from where I was standing. The majority of the city is like what is seen in the picture--unnecessarily wide roads, few bike lanes, and zoning that moves commercial space beyond walkable distances. A friend I have in Amsterdam lives on the outer-edge of the city. She lives on a residential street and is within a five minute walk from a large shopping plaza (that is not surrounded by parking lots) with grocery stores, clothing stores, electronic stores, a library, et cetera. Even on the outer edge of the city, unlike San Francisco, every road has a bike lane and usable sidewalks and the city's zoning is well done.



This doesn't change the fact that Holland and the United States are very different countries and you chose the city to make comparisons too. Why not Durango, CO? Or if you insist on a big city, at least Portland.



This also doesn't change the fact that you chose the Holland picture specifically because it showed a lot of bikes (but again, no more than I could get in a shot 100 meters from my home any day school is in session) and the San Francisco picture, in residential area with downtown barely visible in the background, because it showed no bikes.
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#19 Old 08-21-2005, 11:26 AM
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Cities/States/Counties/Countries can take pro-active measures to encourage bikers and alternative transport. Or they can not take pro-active measures.



It is clear that in Holland they do everything they can to provide bikers with an environment in which they feel safe and are encouraged and not considered as nuisances.



That is the difference between the two photos shown.
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#20 Old 08-21-2005, 11:31 AM
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Cities/States/Counties/Countries can take pro-active measures to encourage bikers and alternative transport. Or they can not take pro-active measures.



It is clear that in Holland they do everything they can to provide bikers with an environment in which they feel safe and are encouraged and not considered as nuisances.



That is the difference between the two photos shown.

I think remi's argument is that the pictures were taken to show a certain viewpoint and aren't entirely objective. The SF one shows a place/time where there are many cars, the Holland one shows a place/time when there are many bikes, but the areas aren't always exactly like that.
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#21 Old 08-21-2005, 11:33 AM
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mikie: I have heard (from my linguistics prof) that there is a sort of social "taboo" (that's not the right word) against wearing helmets in holland. It's like if you wear a helmet, that's showing that you're really incompetent at riding a bike...did you find this to be the case?



>>This also doesn't change the fact that you chose the Holland picture specifically because it showed a lot of bikes (but again, no more than I could get in a shot 100 meters from my home any day school is in session) and the San Francisco picture, in residential area with downtown barely visible in the background, because it showed no bikes.>>



I think the picture is illustrative rather than part of an empirical argument, per se. And, yes, the US and Holland are different countries. Isn't that what we're talking about?



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#22 Old 08-21-2005, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by remilard View Post

This doesn't change the fact that Holland and the United States are very different countries and you chose the city to make comparisons too.

The point is that the two countries are different. That's why I called this thread "compare / contrast." I think it's quite logical that the city I chose for a simple two picture comparison is the one that I live in. I just haven't had the time to compile a report that compares all cities in Holland and the United States that have populations of over 50,000 people. My deepest apologies!

Quote:
Originally Posted by remilard View Post

This also doesn't change the fact that you chose the Holland picture specifically because it showed a lot of bikes (but again, no more than I could get in a shot 100 meters from my home any day school is in session) and the San Francisco picture, in residential area with downtown barely visible in the background, because it showed no bikes.

That's False (read on.)

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The SF one shows a place/time where there are many cars...

If you look again, you'll note that there actually aren't that many cars (unless you're counting the parked ones.) Having too much space for too little cars is also a problem. It takes large amounts of money to pay for such large amounts of unnecessary construction and upkeep. In the picture, the area is strictly residential, and a street size that would be better for the area would be a two-way two lane street, when in fact, you could probably park six or seven cars side by side inbetween the parked ones!

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...the Holland one shows a place/time when there are many bikes, but the areas aren't always exactly like that.

In Holland, it actually is always like that. The photo, if I must be so picky (and I didn't want to go here in this thread, as it was really about walkable neighborhoods), actually shows relatively few bikes for the country if I were to choose the picture for such subvertive bike propaganda. If I really wanted to demonstrate the number of bikes in Holland, I'd show some of the many other photos I took. The photos I've attached further demonstrate that I had no such original sinister plan to plant into the minds of VB members that Holland his "lots of bikes." But since I've been forced to this measure, I really don't mind. Holland, afterall, does have "lots of bikes," and I, as a biker, quite enjoyed it.
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#23 Old 08-21-2005, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Gnome Chomsky View Post

mikie: I have heard (from my linguistics prof) that there is a sort of social "taboo" (that's not the right word) against wearing helmets in holland. It's like if you wear a helmet, that's showing that you're really incompetent at riding a bike...did you find this to be the case?

It might fall under the taboo category. The whole time I was there, I saw thousands of bikers, but only once did I see someone wearing a helmet. My friend told me that only children do there. I told her that many people wear them in San Francisco because we like to keep our brains inside our heads.
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#24 Old 08-21-2005, 12:10 PM
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In the picture, the area is strictly residential, and a street size that would be better for the area would be a two-way two lane street, when in fact, you could probably park six or seven cars side by side inbetween the parked ones!

The picture I'm loading shows what I mean to say. I took it in New Orleans where the street sizes, for the most part, are exactly what they need to be. I'm going to point out, so that remilard does not have to, that the photo in New Orleans is light residential, and that of San Francisco in the original post, is medium residential, so it's not as perfect a match as I might lead on.



It does however stress my point.
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#25 Old 08-21-2005, 12:11 PM
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It is not yet common practice in Europe for bikers to wear helmets. Sport cyclists wear them, and most children though.



There is no law yet which makes people wear them. But there are more and more people doing it voluntarily. The same goes for the ski-slopes. Up to a couple of years ago, only children would be seen wearing helmets. Now one can see some adults wearing them as well.
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#26 Old 08-21-2005, 12:11 PM
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It is not yet common practice in Europe for bikers to wear helmets. Sport cyclists wear them, and most children though.



There is no law yet which makes people wear them. But there are more and more people doing it voluntarily. The same goes for the ski-slopes. Up to a couple of years ago, only children would be seen wearing helmets. Now one can see some adults wearing them as well.
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#27 Old 08-21-2005, 12:25 PM
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This thread was about walkable neighborhoods?



Where is a mod to correct the non informative or misleading thread title when you need one?
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#28 Old 08-21-2005, 12:31 PM
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In Holland, it actually is always like that. The photo, if I must be so picky (and I didn't want to go here in this thread, as it was really about walkable neighborhoods), actually shows relatively few bikes for the country if I were to choose the picture for such subvertive bike propaganda. If I really wanted to demonstrate the number of bikes in Holland, I'd show some of the many other photos I took. The photos I've attached further demonstrate that I had no such original sinister plan to plant into the minds of VB members that Holland his "lots of bikes." But since I've been forced to this measure, I really don't mind. Holland, afterall, does have "lots of bikes," and I, as a biker, quite enjoyed it.

Okay, thanks for pointing that out to me.
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#29 Old 08-21-2005, 12:39 PM
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>>The same goes for the ski-slopes.>>



Heh...I ski sans helmet (yes, I'm that petite bourgeois, I do ski). Prolly pretty stupid. My dad got a concussion once that way.

...

I never knew that this thread would be quite this pedantic.



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#30 Old 08-21-2005, 12:45 PM
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And, yes, the US and Holland are different countries. Isn't that what we're talking about?



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Well we were talking about how they were different in an unknown specific way, due to the vague thread title. Most of us assumed it was biking, it is apparently walkable neighborhoods. I would argue that the US and Holland have some stark geographic differences. Why not compare Holland with Connecticut or something?
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