When Bossy was growing up, her city didn’t believe in bike lanes, and cars had very little respect for bicycles.
But yesterday Bossy was checking out how many of her hometown streets have been painted in this way, with a bike lane and — what is that other lane? — but anyway, Bossy wonders if the actual car culture has turned around that much.
When Bossy lived in the Washington D.C. area, the thing that impressed her the most was its commitment to bicycles. The city and its suburbs had a seamless system of trails and paths that stretched for miles and miles, from the farmlands to the Capitol, from the fish market to Bossy’s stove, and pretty much connected you anywhere you wanted to go with very little on-street stress.
It’s funny how some cities allow bikes to assimilate better than others.
kerry saysOctober 6, 2009 at 7:33 am
I learned how to be one tough cyclist while living in Philly- now I’m in Holland where there are more bikes than people & you can go just about anywhere on any of the gazillion bike paths in relative peace 🙂
Lisa saysOctober 6, 2009 at 10:12 am
One of my favorite things about Europe is the safety for the cyclists. Everywhere, people yield to them and respect them. There are bike lanes on all major streets. We lived there for nine years, and my children grew up cycling and I felt safe. What is up with this country and abusive car drivers? They hog the road, speed, go over the lines, won’t move out of the fastlane, talktalktalk on cell phones, and my new favorite – thinking you are behind a drunk driver, only to realize that they have been texting… sorry, I’m ranting again!!
MidLifeMama saysOctober 6, 2009 at 10:13 am
It would be nice if the bicyclists were as diligent in staying in the bike lane, and in their observation of things like RED LIGHTS and STOP SIGNS and ONE WAY STREETS as the cars are expected to be, since they have these nice bike lanes to be in. That is my gripe with bicyclists.
Elsewhere saysOctober 6, 2009 at 10:46 am
@kerry: Hi Kerry!, I’m in Holland too, Amsterdam to be precise.
@MidLifeMama: you’re so funny! Stopping at red lights…? LOL!
FL Liz saysOctober 6, 2009 at 11:23 am
The other lane: add a couple side squares, a few numbers and you have a Hop Scotch lane
Tawny saysOctober 6, 2009 at 1:35 pm
Check out the new bicycle building that opened at Union Station in DC. Now that is some serious bicycle love.
Mimi saysOctober 6, 2009 at 1:38 pm
When traveling to Amsterdam DO NOT accidentally stand in the bike lane as I did one day. It’s basically like walking out into the street but with jingling bells instead of honking horns.
Kelly saysOctober 6, 2009 at 1:44 pm
I love bike lanes, my city is very bike friendly. However, I do have the same complaints as MidLifeMama, really! It’s scary.
Several years ago, I took a cruise with my family and Amsterdam was one of the stops. During the destination speech, the guide said that Amsterdam was a fairly safe city, although if you don’t watch out “you will be MURDERED!” by bicyclists who will run you down!!
Dee saysOctober 6, 2009 at 2:21 pm
I agree with MidLifeMama #3 and want to add one more – bike riders that think they are pedestrians and fly down the sidewalk with no regard for people walking or for rules of the road!
EmmaSteinfeld saysOctober 6, 2009 at 7:28 pm
As a cyclist, I’d just like to say how nice it must be to live in a city with abundant bike lanes. In my city, we have two… and only because they are on State routes. And even those bike lanes aren’t really bike lanes, since cyclists have to deal with joggers using them, forcing us to choose whether to mow down a jogger or leave the bike lane and ride in the “car” lane. Never mind that big picture of a BIKE that’s painted in the lane every so many feet. Or the sidewalk that’s there for pedestrians (which joggers are).
Maybe if some motorists would get out from behind the wheel of a car and get on a bicycle once in a while (and ride in traffic), there would be less hostility on their part when they encounter us on the roads. You know the saying “walk a mile in my shoes”… well, in this case, it’s ride ten or twenty miles on my gel seat.
3limes saysOctober 7, 2009 at 3:34 am
Montreal is my favorite city for cyclists. They have a huge cycling circuit, much respect for bikes and even an annual event where the whole city is closed to cars for cyclists to enjoy the streets in peace. This summer I noticed that they now have a very easy to use “rent a bike” system where with a simple payment system a bike can be borrowed and later returned to a different location. Somewhat like airport trolleys.
tina de luxe saysOctober 7, 2009 at 7:17 am
We’re spoilt here in Europe, that’s true. When we went to Florida years ago with my granny in tow, we were surprised we couldn’t even GO anywhere, not to mention use a bike – because there weren’t any bike lanes, ok, but that area had no pavements either, as far as I remember.
Amsterdam is a wonderful place but every time I drive there, I have to be all alert, especially when changing lanes or directions, I’m not used to so many cyclists in one place, incredible … But if you know how much parking costs in the inner city area of Amsterdam, you know why they all use bikes.