Bikes and cities

I read an article about the the positive impact of the use of the bike in Paris after the people receive a monthly compensation for going to job by bike, promoting a set of behaviors that benefits the whole city. This made me think about bike adoption in cities.

I´m becoming older and I am able to look with perspective the evolution of cities I visited 10 years ago. This week I was, in this order, in Berlin, Amsterdam and Barcelona. I will focus on the quality of life of those living there in terms of use of the bike 10 years ago and today.

So,

Berlin has not changed, so many people use the bike. It was 2003 the first time I visited Berlin, in summer; This time in winter. You can see children are wrapped in their coats that can barely move themselves, but here they are. Here the motto is: one street, one bike lane.

In Amsterdam there are more bikes if possible, in some areas it is the main transport, you can find piled bikes, wood-bikes, fat-bikes. exclusive city-bikes. I asked if they still have the problem of bike theft, and they still have it. If this enormous love for the bikes that Dutch people have you  apply their knowledge on design on the bikes, the consequence is easy: you have all kind of bikes. They have in The Hague a race of fat-bikes on the beach. 10 years ago The Netherlands was a pioneer in the use of the bike and today they still are on top of the list (at least I think so).

Barcelona was the big surprise to me. The first time I visited it there were only one bike lane on Diagonal Avenue and in the sea-port area. Now you can find thousand of bike lanes, a municipal bike service, lots of bikes parked on streetlights The change of such a large and complex city as Barcelona cannot only be measured by the existence of bike-lanes, but you can see the change (maybe others do not agree with me). Bikes have won some space of the streets to the cars.

In contrast I look at Madrid, and I see no change, the cars still own the streets.

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