A biking city

“You get the kind of city that you plan for.”

Words from Sarah Goodyear in an article in The Atlantic Cities about a city in the Netherlands.

The city government of Groningen, back in the 1970s, separated the central area of the city into 4 quadrants and prohibited cars from going from one quadrant to the other. Cars had to go around the outskirts of the city. But bicycles could move freely from one quadrant to the other.

Business owners vehemently protested stating that no one would patronize their businesses.

But guess what? That didn’t happen. Shops did not leave. People adapted. And now 50% of all trips are made by bicycle, 60% in the city center. This is in a city of 190,000.

Obviously, this might not work everywhere, but what can we learn from this?

Jan

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