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Final Thoughts

At the beginning of this trip, I wondered if there were any inherent and permanent differences between the United States and the Netherlands that held the U.S. back when trying to accommodate bicycles. After two weeks in the Netherlands, I can’t argue that there are some things, like the flat landscape, that are in favor of the Dutch. However, most of the things that make biking easy in the Netherlands, particularly in the region of cities known as the Randstad, are due to careful planning and effort.

 

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Transit Tour in Amsterdam

 

Taking trams through Amsterdam gave me a new perspective on traveling through the city. Previously, I mostly paid attention to the intra–city transit system to avoid getting hit by trams and to keep my tires out of the tracks. 

 

The tram–lines made crossing the entire city quickly a possibility. They seem particularly good for reaching places on the edge of the city that are too close for a train station but exhausting to reach by bike on a daily basis. The subway system has a few lines that cover 3 or 4 of the major outlying areas of the...

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Houten

Houten was developed from a tiny town of 4000 to a much larger town of 30,000 in the late nineties and then 50,000 by 2015. These two phases involved making a northern ring and later expanding by adding a southern ring. The planners left the old town center mostly intact, but decided to give the new ring a central hub at the railway station. Radiating out from this center are green spaces that run between the neighborhoods. Only bikes and pedestrians are allowed in these green spaces. Cars can access all of the houses, but they have to come from the ring road surrounding the town rather...

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Final Thoughts

My final thoughts on the Dutch infrastructure are about how convenient and safe I felt biking around the Netherlands.  I was very nervous beginning this class because after biking around Atlanta I knew that I was the least experienced cyclist in the class.  Although I did spend the majority of my time at the back on the group, I DID IT! The separated bike routes and cycle tracks allowed me to feel safe and it made me feel more comfortable getting around.  After the two weeks, the bike was second nature, I didn’t think about getting around via car and I didn’t...

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Dutch Transit: The Bike, the Train, and the Tram

The Dutch integrate public transit and bikes by making it easy for the citizens to transfer between the two modes relatively effortlessly.  The point of this is to have people able to bike to the train stations and be able to catch a train easily then rent a bike from their final destination.  All of the train stations we encountered had a bike parking lot in or near by the train station exit so it is very easy for people to transfer from bike to train. There was also a bike rental place near the parking lots as well.  In the Delft train station, the bike parking had an...

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Final Thoughts

By Jordan Hunt, 18 June 2017

The past two weeks have really been eye opening for me. The Dutch approach and the American approach to infrastructure design are drastically different in many ways. Firstly, the infrastructure itself varies between the Netherlands and the US. The Dutch have created a very defined system for structuring their roadways and cycle lanes based on vehicle speed and roadway use. The US is a bit more unorganized in their approach to developing cycle networks. One section of roadway may have dedicated cycle lanes, another section has sharrows, and then in...

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Transit & Bikes, Bikes & Transit

By Jordan Hunt, 18 June 2017

The Dutch are not just good at creating an incredible cycling network. They’ve also developed a highly effective transit network which consists of trains, trams, subways, ferries, and buses. During our last week in Delft, we had the opportunity to meet with a few professionals who are tasked with developing and maintaining these networks. It was very interesting hearing them discuss the difficulties that the Netherlands are facing and some of the problems that come along with having a transportation system focused on public transit and cycling...

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