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Reflections from a True Mirror

Enlightenment. Enlightenment is defined as the act of receiving greater knowledge and understanding about a subject or situation. Throughout the trip to the Netherlands, I can definitely say that I have truly been enlightened beyond my expectations. Due to the fact that I was afforded to take this trip as a study abroad class, it gave me the opportunity to ensure that I consistently took note of Dutch culture and history at every turn. This assured use that information to understand how this has affected their infrastructure and transportation system as a whole....

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A Reflection on Cycling in the Netherlands

European cities have grown around the concept of shared space. With cities such as Amsterdam dating back to the 1200s, streets were designed for pedestrians, horses, and carts, all using the same, often quite narrow, roads. As transportation evolved, so did the supporting infrastructure, but the history of sharing roads between different modes of transportation never faded. Riding or walking down narrow streets that were home to bike, car, and pedestrian left me with the impression of older times when residents worked with one another on sharing public space rather than relying solely on...

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Blog Post 8: Final Thoughts

After traveling a week in the Netherlands, stepping off MARTA from the airport felt like a shock to my system. I walked from the station into a concrete and bike-less street. It felt a little empty. Compared to many parts of the Netherlands, my walk through the heart of Midtown was eerily quiet. Without proper bike and pedestrian infrastructure, streets don’t feel like shared social spaces and become dominated by cars (and fallen scooters). Before biking around on this trip, I didn’t realize how much I walked and how much time biking could save me. Trips around...

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Blog Post 8

Dutch Infrastructure Design

Going into our class trip to the Netherlands, I honestly expected the cycling infrastructure to be perfect. I expected to see red asphalt in every cycle path, raised crossings at every intersection, and absolutely no bike lanes. I was quite surprised to find so many instances where the Dutch standards weren’t followed.

After our conversation with a retired planner in the Delft region, however, the Dutch psyche was revealed to be far more similar to the American one than I thought. This retired planner, Jan, said that its...

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Blog Post #8: Final Thoughts

Reflection on the Netherlands

The Netherlands felt too good to be true. Cyclists are prioritized over cars. The bike infrastructure is safe and I never had to worry about a car hitting me. The lanes are clearly marked. The road signs are clear, even for those that do not understand Dutch, like me. However, sometimes one is not sure if a sign means that cyclists are being prioritized or if vehicles can run over cyclists, as is seen in Figure 1 below. The cherry on top? The Dutch have an almost car-free town, where cars are guests and should not...

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BP 8: Final Thoughts

Pause…

Let’s stop and take a second to appreciate what just happened. We just spent a week exploring the lands of the undisputed champion of bike-centric design, shocking our minds and hearts, and reinvigorating our passion for multi-modal design. I couldn’t be much happier even if I spent a week with Jordan and Phil on the Bull’s bench in the 90’s. But anyway, enough about my childhood dreams. Learning from one of the most forward-thinking and human-oriented nations in the world was a phenomenal experience, and I’m so grateful...

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BP#8: Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed starting off my day while in the Netherlands on a bike because I felt much more awake and energized than I usually feel in the US. I honestly miss the comfort of the Dutch paved cycle paths and how smoothly integrated biking and transit were. I am hopeful that the US will see improvements in biking infrastructure.

Infrastructure Design Influences Cyclists

In the US city of Atlanta, cycling makes up 1.4% of all commutes (Atlanta 2017). The city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands is comparable to Atlanta in size and population, and yet about...

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