Amsterdam is a city known for many things; here are the two things I find most interesting of them. The first is that it was the center of the world’s first speculative bubble, The Tulip Mania. In 1636-37 the price of tulips increased by 20 000 percent before it crashed back to its pre-bubble price level.
The other one is that Amsterdam, by many, is called the biking capitol of the world. In Amsterdam 55 percent of people that live within 5 miles from work commute by bike and every person over the age of fifteen owns a bike. In contrast, in Boston only 2,11 % bike to work, and in the city in the US that is rated to be best for biking, Portland, only 5,44 % commute by bike to work.
Amsterdam has 250 miles of bike lanes and paths making it easy and safe to bike anywhere around the city. Due to the high number of people biking in Amsterdam, overfilled bike parks are not a rare sight:
Some cities in the US have noticed how successful the Dutch have been with facilitating a strong biking community in Holland. That’s why some Dutch bicycle experts in Holland have been invited over to American cities, in a multi-city initiative called ThinkBike. Here, they lead workshops in US cities to discuss how to increase urban biking.
The financial meltdown of 2008 proved that we obviously did not learn from the Dutch’s fail in the 17th century. It remains to see if we are able to learn from the Dutch’s success and take action to increase biking in US cities.
PS: Don’t forget to suggest nicknames for the interns, the winner of the Gotham bike light has not been decided.