The first two days in Amsterdam were a mixture of excitment, orientation (both for the program and the city) and adventure. During the mornings we walked to a nearby arts center for lecture. Marc conducted his normal lecture on bicycle planning in the United states and Europe. The lectures were a good refresher about the context that exists. It also ensured that everyone was on the same page.
Some highlights of the lectures include (we also had an in-depth discussion which I won’t paraphrase):
How do we get people out of their bikes:
1) Infrastructure (the built environment and installed infrastructure from bicycle lanes to cycle tracks to paint on the ground)
2) Land Use (how land uses are coordinated and determined)
3) Design (how does the installed infrastructure actually functions)
4) Culture (the culture itself of a community or society and how it interacts with the outside environment)
He also discussed the decision tree that people use to cycle:
Inital Considerations (family, work, time, distance) –> Trip Barriers (weather, geography, route safety, route efficency) –> Destination Barriers (storage, showers, employer support)
The final component I will talk about is (however we did discuss other things) the American Transporation Paradigm. Ultimately, it is argued that the main considerations for designing our road network is congestion reduction, mobility, order & safety via a reduction of conflicts. What isn’t a consideration is colaboration with land use planning.
This set the stage for our adventures in Amsterdam.