Amsterdamize


Building Momentum
July 8, 2008, 10:45 am
Filed under: news, video | Tags: , , , , ,

Back to the future! I watched this last night, but couldn’t for the life of me find the real video embed stuff (way to go MSNBC!). No panic, of course another bike blogger would’ve seen it too! Bingo:

On so many levels this has never happened to me:
1. I watched the news and felt upbeat and excited afterwards
2. I watched the news and two stories (1 & 2) in a row were showing what used to be ‘alternative’ ideas as mainstream.
3. I watched the news because I turned it on, and I didn’t walk away
Thank goodness I was waiting for Hub to get ready to go get his bike at the shop or these great things would have never have happened to me.

 

building a bicycle infrastructure in Boston

building a bicycle infrastructure in Boston

I think this news item is good, but when it comes to exposure, building awareness and promoting usage, the web is already light years ahead. I just know the cycle phenomenon has grown way bigger in the US than most assume right now. It’s just a sad state of affairs that one still needs acknowledgment from the MSM to feel legit, public scrutiny and all.

(Speaking of scrutiny: no, I couldn’t even embed the video on Amsterdamize. The code is not compatible. But I’m happy linking you to a fellow bicycle nut…)

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A’dam Cycle News
June 12, 2008, 4:56 pm
Filed under: news, special | Tags: , , , ,

Here are some excerpts from regular/local Amsterdam and Dutch national news outlets. (The English translations are mine.)

From our local newspaper Het Parool: (published from the national press agency ANP)

Tree Root Pressure On Sarphatistraat Dealt With
“Good news for all cyclists who frequently commute via Sarphatistraat. For years they got ‘launched’ by the bump in the road near the Amsterdam-Amstelland Police Academy. As of this week, however, the bump is gone. Finito. Disappeared.
map
According to Denise Juthan of the Communication Department of the city of Amsterdam, these bumps were caused by ‘root pressure’. The tree roots alongside Sarphatistraat’s bike lane were pushing up the asphalt. Having received many complaints about this over a long period of time, the bigger ‘thorny’ problems are now dealt with. First locally, and next year the smaller bumps will also be taken care of during the city’s ‘general maintenance’ round, putting down all new asphalt.”

Amsterdam Bike Theft Probability Goes Down
AMSTERDAM – Most Amsterdammers won’t risk it anyway. Their brand new bikes will stay indoors and for their commutes downtown their old and rusty bike will do the trick. Yet, the odds for bike theft are declining, municipal research shows.

Transporation official Tjeerd Herrema announced that the risk of having your bike stolen is now hovering at 8 procent. In 2001 that percentage was twice as high. The city counsel is aiming for 6 procent in the next few years. diefstal

According to the counsel, one of the most important means to battle the bike thiefs is the Amsterdamse Fiets Afhandel Centrale (AFAC), roughly translated into ‘Amsterdam Bicycle Processing Center’. All bikes that are removed or found are processed here, registered and referenced whether they have been stolen.

This program has put Amsterdam ahead of the curve, but other cities like Zwolle, Tilburg, IJmond also initiated such a center. Nijmegen is about to start one.

Amsterdam has about 550.000 bikes that are actively used. The AFAC has so far registered, cross-checked and coded 25% of them. Once it’s established a bike was stolen, it will be returned to the rightful owner.

‘British Designated Biker Often Pissed Drunk’ 
AMSTERDAM – Els Iping (Labour Party), chair woman of the City Center Counsel, is declaring war on the Bike Cafe. This vehicle, which can carry 10 to 17 people at a time and enables drinking while biking, will shortly be banned from the city center. According to the chair woman, the riding cafe is causing too much trouble in the inner city of Amsterdam.

 

Iping decided to intervene after the police had confirmed the increasing number of complaints about loud and drunk British tourists, wobbling into people and traffic.

Their presence in the city is growing, going by the names of The Bike Cafe, The Ladies Bar (my link insertion to my video post) and The Corny Bike Cafe.

Officially, the beer bike is not supposed to be steered under the influence. At least one person in the group needs to be sober. “However”, says Iping, “reality shows us that the British designated biker is also pissed drunk. Even if he/she is not, they are aggravating and hindering other cyclists at an unacceptable level.”

On Iping’s initiative, the Justice Department, police and City Center Counsel have decided to ban the bike cafes.