Monday, February 2, 2009

Scooter Resource -- Holland Viewpoint

Emile writes...
The cyclists vs rest of the "world" discussion is totally alien to me.
In Holland almost everybody who rides a motorcycle will also
ride a bicycle regularly and have a car as well. Most car drivers
will not ride motorcycles, but bicycling in Holland is as much a part
of general life as eating. On top of that, or maybe even more
important, is the fact that we of course, besides cars, also grant proper
infrastructure to all those bicyclists. Separated bicycle lanes, thousands
of km's of bicycle routes, separated traffic lights, crossovers and unders,
parking facilities etc etc. There's no need at all to put your own life at
risk by trying to join high speed traffic on regional roads. And because
of that, no need for helmets or ugly fluo vests either.

So even though Holland is the single most densely populated country
in the world and even though, like in every big city, there's plenty of
irritation because of traffic jams everywhere and expensive (full) parking
lots, bicycles aren't an annoying factor. And in general, they get plenty
of respect and understanding from other road users since those other
road users are just as much "bicyclist" usually.

I can imagine that bicyclists in the UK want to fight for the little space
they get "granted" and it's sad to hear that they're seen as a separate
group of people, weirdly enough not seeing motorcyclists as a similar group
of underrepresented two wheeled road users either. I think if bicyclists
would get better infrastructure, usage would be much higher (because
safer, quicker, easier) and respect hopefully would be universal like here
because everybody would use it as a proper alternative means of transport.

Buslanes here are just used by busses. Bicyclists have no need for them,
since they have their own lanes which often ride parallel to buslanes (but
never in them). For Dutch motorcyclists it is interesting though, that's why
I am hoping for a successful trial period which might serve as an example
for Holland. Too bad the cyclists seem to disturb the picture, especially
since they wouldn't be a factor here.

'02 ST1300 Pan European

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