Bike to Work (1)

B2W Indonesia|Netherlands– Sahabat sepeda di seluruh pelosok tanah air, kali ini something special datang dari negara sepeda, Belanda. Artikel asli dari Mr. Otto Beaujon yang konon dianggap sebagai sesepuhnya Onthelist Eropa dan dunia. Mr. Otto Beaujon tinggal di Oudewater, Provinsi Utrecth, Belanda. Admin sempat bertemu dan bertandang ke rumah beliau, yang dipenuhi dengan koleksi sepeda yang sangat bersejarah. Beliau sangat ramah dan sangat membuka lebar-lebar pintu rumahnya untuk dikunjungi para pesepeda yang ingin lebih jauh mengetahui tentang per-sepeda-an dunia. Mari kita simak artikel pertama beliau khusus untuk B2W Indonesia.

Notice 26 October 2018 for Bike to Work Indonesia
by Otto Beaujon, the Netherlands

‘Bike to Work’ has many aspects like:

– Setup of society: average home to work (or school) distances for students, workers, civil servants,
– Cycling possibilities and infrastructure: flat or mountainous countryside and cities, road quality, traffic density, separate cycling paths, crossroads, road safety
– Does cycling interact with public transport?
– Does the city (community, village, region) offer good cycling support (instant repair, public facilities for charging electric bike battery, bike parking spaces, learning cycling proficiency)
– Incentives other than saving money when compared to car, moped, public transport

Pict: Houten Basis School (by Otto)

Pict: Houten School Jeugd (by Otto)

On each of these subjects, there is lots of information from countries like the Netherlands, comparison with Belgium (Flanders), Denmark, Norway, Northern half of Germany, London area, flat parts of Italy (Po river delta), cities in France, Alsace region, former East Germany.

One, two and three generations ago, children and students (under eighteen, the minimum age for a drivers’ license) went to school by bicycle. The current generation goes less and less by bicycle, because both parents work during the day, and prefer to drive their child to school on their way to work, rather than get up earlier, help their child set off in time to bike to school. This is (in the Netherlands, and many other places in Europe) a serious ‘melt off’ of established practice.

Political changes have their unsuspected effects on cycling, for instance in former Eastern Germany. The pre- 1989 regime was not very productive in providing motorized private transport. Waiting lists for a private car ran up to 12 years. Once the regime was over, everybody who had savings for a car-to-come, spent their money on a cheap secondhand car, and these flooded the roads and streets. In many cities bicycle use was ‘killed’ proverbially by their streets being clogged by unskilled new drivers. Many cyclists were actually killed in traffic these first few years, and people rather opted for a car or motorcycle themselves than staying on the bike. The city of Erfurt, for example, had 17 cycling clubs, of which only one remains today.

Pict: Houten Ongelijkvloerse Kr (by Otto)

A really bike-to-work city in the Netherlands is Houten, a satellite city of Utrecht. The setup from scratch (1970) was such, that motorized traffic and bicycles have their own separate roads, and where these cross each other, it is either on different levels (bridge, tunnel) or with priority for the cyclists’ lane. Houten has the same car density as the average in the Netherlands, but make less miles, because every citizen does his (her) intra-city transport by bicycle. Every public place (school, church, shop, railway station, etc.) has a ‘car side’ and a ‘bicycle side’. that means children can safely ride to school from their first class (4 years) because they never meet a car on their way. It is a model city.


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