Biking in the U.S. Vs. Amsterdam

Amsterdam has a lot of places to park your bike. A lot. (Photo: Jim Kelly [CC BY 2.0]/Flickr)

The difference between the U.S. and other more bike-enlighted countries can be summed up nicely with these two bits of knowledge.

Washington, D.C., is getting excited about a new bike parking shelter built outside Union Station that will hold 130 bikes.

Amsterdam has a bike parking garage outside their Central Station that holds over 8,000 bikes.

America is built around the car. Laws, infrastructure, and funding all grossly favor the automobile over the bike.

Amsterdam actively works to make driving a car a hassle with low in-town speed limits, lots of inconvenient one-way roads, great bike lanes, and laws that favor bicyclists over drivers in cases of collision. Over 30 percent of working citizens commute by bike in Amsterdam; bike-friendly Portland, Ore., has just under 5 percent getting to work on two wheels.

We have a lot of work to do to catch up on this one.

Swing over to NPR to listen to a Morning Edition story from today about the new D.C. parking shelter.

(Thanks to my friend Jenny for sending me the NPR link)