American bicycle culture and infra from the perspective of a Dutchman

A Dutch "anthropological" look at American bicycle culture by Mark Wagenbuur of BicycleDutch. Much the same for Canada. Glimmers of change, but we're still so much in a car-fetishizing culture with space dominated by cars.


I like this. It's an calm, honest critique of the North American bicycle infrastructure without coming across as something from the supposed "bike lobby." The comments all have a "normal people aren't yet using their bicycles for everyday tasks" which I think is the point we all want. Bicycles arent just for recreation, leasure, or children. They are an effective and healthy means of transportation for everyone, it's bizarre to me that there are still people who don't get this.

Yet we have politicians and NIMBYs who prefer to create bicycle paths along hydro corridors or river valleys that do not go anywhere near destinations the riders want to go, like stores or offices. Instead, they are "recreational", that for them belong in the "parks" department. They need to be "transportation" and maybe part of the "roads" department.

WK, It would be a poor strategy to poo-poo the green paths for use of cycling infrastructure. Toronto has got great ravines that can establish north-south connections and the hydro corridors are useful for east-west cycling. If they give you lemons, you make lemonade.

And keep pushing for proper cycling infrastructure on the roads as well - it's the cheapest way to get drivers off the roads.

There is an exception to bike paths being recreational and that is the Martin Goodman Trail. It is a transportation corridor. Because of that it is plowed in the winter. This is a major reason the city is against trails being under the aegis of transportation.

More advocacy is needed to make sure new rails are infrastucture rather than recreational. Mimico is a recreational. So is the one in Port Union. These are the newest two trails. The one in Mimico is heavily used by commuters and should be cleared of snow. Other trails would become all season too.

I wish bike lanes were no longer just dumping grounds for snow windrows. Instead, we hope the winter snow is able to melt them to get them clear of snow and ice.