Houten started as a small town with only a few houses and buildings. As the country’s industry had been developed, a number of cars in Houten also increased drastically, which resulted building more houses, car roads, and parking lots. Years later, the city council of Houten realized prioritizing cars did not only pollute environment but was also not safe for children. Instead of building more facilities for cars, Houten approached differently, which was to prioritize safety and encouragement of cycling.
Like other cities, cyclists can be found in Houten but in Houten, cars have to yield cyclists and pedestrians because they have priority over cars. When I was cycling with our guide, there was a huge truck behind us. At that moment, I was thinking I should cycle faster to find space to stop to yield for the truck but our guide seemed like we did not need to. He told that cyclists have priority in this town so we did not have to hurry up and yield for the truck.
As shown in the pictures, some parents were carrying children with a bicycle; the school sign had children; children are cycling back from school. From the pictures, we can see how much Houten cares about children and their safety.
I was thinking about if this type of approach could be implemented in the US. I would like to live in a town like Houten but in reality, I think it is going to be hard to implement this system in the US because first, not many Americans favor cycling and only a few major cities have some cycling infrastructure and it is almost impossible to find cycling infrastructure in rural area. Most people usually cycle on car roads.