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Serve. Learn. Sustain.

By Anna Nord - August 13, 2017.

Before studying abroad in the Netherlands, I was confident in my knowledge of the aspects that define safe bicycle infrastructure. I believed in my ability to solve problems associated with the dangers of inadequate bicycle facilities in the United States. Yet, within hours of being in the Netherlands, I quickly realized that my solutions were naïve and missing vital details.

The Sustainable...

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Reflecting on our trip to the Netherlands

By Anna Nord. August 1, 2017

It has been over a month, since I have been back in the United States, which means I have gone back to biking on roads with no facilities and competing for space with aggressive, yet oblivious drivers. The Netherlands spoiled me. I became accustom to feeling safe, riding with an air of confidence and not feeling on guard while biking to the grocery store.

Figure 1. Delft Netherlands...

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Applying Netherlands Design Standards to Marietta Street in Atlanta Georgia

By Anna Nord. August 1, 2017

The Georgia Institute of Technology’s Sustainable Transportation Study Abroad course in the Netherlands teaches students about the Dutch approach to solving transportation problems. The class exposes students to different applications of bicycle infrastructure and provokes them to study what elements support an integrated multi-modal system. As part of course work, students are assigned a corridor in Atlanta to redesign based on Dutch practices. Our team identified Marietta Street NW as a corridor in desperate...

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First Impressions of the Netherlands: OMG. This is a cyclist’s paradise.

By Anna Nord. June 27, 2017. 

(I wrote this post in a note book while sitting in the square outside of our hotel, in Delft. I was in love with the city and I wanted to spend all my time watch people and biking around. I found it challenging to sit in front of my computer to write, so I wrote some of my blog post the old fashioned way - with pen and paper. I’m just getting to typing these blogs up and posting them on the web, so I apologize if some are out of order.)

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I’ve been on...

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Is public transit supporting or competing with bicycles?

By Anna Nord. June 27, 2017. 

Photo: Example of a street in Amsterdam where vehicular access was removed and the corridor was redesigned to accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists and public transit. 

Seamless is an overused word to describe a multi-modal transportation system. However, it’s difficult to find a more suitable term to characterize the relationship between...

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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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