damrak

it’s amazing what a city can look like when there seems to be a shared development between different roadusers. it’s genuinely eye-opening to see the bicycle as the dominant form of transport within a large metropolis; it creates a sense of acceptance and fosters a belief that there isn’t really any other way to travel, in short – it establishes a culture of cycling. arguments regarding the practicality of cars are exposed as specious nonsense. communities seem to exist along lines of proximity, nearness, carriable distances; no humoungous hypermarkets and pile-em-high retailing. the car becomes secondary as a mode of transport, and does not dominate – being marginalised to third or fourth in the pecking order beneath pedestrians and trams. people can see each other, and interact, there is no hermeneutic bubble. what struck me fairly forceably was the absence of any particular siege mentality – none of the vulnerability continually faced by cyclists in the UK, the constant duality of aggression and fear that stems from being assailed all the time by the utter, uncontested supremacy of the car.
completely refreshing. watch out of the tram tracks though, and cobbles, a scary combination in the wet.
not sure quite what this is, other than it’s a vanmoof; but i like it, especially the coaster brake:
obligatory bike-park shot; although the three storey one at centraal station was utterly pornographic…

2 thoughts on “damrak

  1. Adam Ef February 23, 2010 / 8:54 pm

    Must be refreshing to not have to be constantly thinking and riding defensively. Have you read any of Josh Hart’s research into the effects of building car dominated environments? He’s got a blog that covered some of it when he was based in Bristol. http://onthelevelblog.wordpress.com/

    • bertraum February 24, 2010 / 7:04 pm

      i will look at that.

      it was really odd; like a glimpse into a parallel universe. i like david byrne’s book; he covers some of the same ground i suspect.

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