Transportation design and planning is much different in the Netherlands. The main difference boils down to considering bicycles as a legitimate form of transportation and one that warrants separation from vehicles just as pedestrians do. Although sometimes bicycles lanes and tracks will be alongside vehicle lanes, the second speed and danger increases bicyclists are separated completely. Bicycles are given priority and cars are seen as guests when space doesn’t allow a separate bicycle lane or track. Each mode of transportation is given a specific opportunity to cross an intersection. The Dutch also design so that there is a network of connection for bicyclists to complete their journey. The differences aren’t just in the infrastructure however! The Dutch also implement programs such as early elementary biking learning programs to help the next generation of Dutch bicyclists learn the safe and proper way to utilize the amazing biking infrastructure.
These differences in transportation design and planning make a crucial impact: people feel safe biking in the Netherlands. So safe that they use it as one of their main modes of transportation! Because of this added feeling of safety the Netherlands have achieved a higher level of cycling ridership than most of the countries around the world. From school children to those that have retired and every age in between, the culture of biking in the Netherlands has been carefully considered and cultivated as it continues to grow into the norm. This change only manifested when people felt safe biking to and from where they needed to be.