Wow, it is refreshing to be on a bike again! Last time I rode one was probably a couple of years ago in a small suburban town in Florida where there are no cars and nice sidewalks to bike on. When I first got on the Relay bike and started wobbling when going downhill by the CRC, I knew it’d been a hot second. But once I readjusted and got use the feel of the new bike, I was thriving. Biking through Atlanta was an awesome experience and really opened my eyes to the possibilities of biking as a form of transportation. I guess all it really took is a great guide to tell you about where to go and when to go. With the right route, you can get from place to place going only through low-stress (LTS 1-2) roads. I love the idea of biking down the BeltLine and grabbing a bite to eat. Michelle and I really want to go back and eat at that burrito place. It’s great that the EastSide BeltLine trail is clear enough during the week for cyclist to commute if they wanted to, yet is packed and bustling with activity over the weekend.
Bike infrastructure in Atlanta is not perfect. There are serious gaps in coverage, and certain facilities were designed to give the bare minimum to cyclists. There is also a serious disconnect between motor vehicles and cyclists. The mutual respect is not there. From the smallest things like not yielding on a right turn, to encroaching bike lanes, or straight up blocking a whole cycle track (“Not Cool!”). It is true that design induces demand, I know that when we build more bike infrastructure we will get more people biking and establishing a larger presence for better safety. But in order for us to really elevate the capabilities of our biking, social perceptions need to change too.
Watching Mark Wagenbuur’s videos were really neat to watch because it gives evidence and proof to everything Kari and others have been telling us. It’s one thing to see pictures in PPTs about the Netherlands great infrastructure, but it’s another thing to see it in action, live, and functioning. I am confident that when we are actually there in-person, I will weep with joy at the beauty that is a sustainable infrastructure system. Mark’s videos gave an excellent, all-around introduction to cycling in the Netherlands. From a short history, to some biking etiquette, to terminology, and then some live-action cycling. Another Wagenbuur video that I saw detailed the design for a protected intersection. I guess I now know where Dr. Watkins pulled that from in 4610! I would love to see a protected intersection like the one in the video to be built in Atlanta. If Atlanta is lame and doesn’t build it before I graduate, then I will be the one to design it! In the last Wagenbuur video I saw, Mark walked me through the typical operational flow of cyclists on a Dutch roundabout. The thing that stuck out to me the most is that cyclists have full priority (except for trams whenever they come), and cars, buses, and trucks always yield to cyclists. It’s amazing.
I can’t wait to experience these awesome pieces of infrastructure when we go to the Netherlands. I am confident that once I hit the cycle track over there, I’ll be thriving.
(The 4 Given Videos)
Cycling in the US from a Dutch Perspective – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2THe_10dYs&feature=youtu.be
How the Dutch Got Their Cycle Paths – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuBdf9jYj7o
Cycling Amsterdamsestraatweg, Utrecht – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOkbz4tm324
Bicycle Rush Hour, Utrecht III – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-AbPav5E5M
Junction Design the Dutch Cycle Friendly Way – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlApbxLz6pA
Amsterdam Roundabout – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhqTc_wx5EU