On The Atlantic website yesterday, their video editor posted an interesting short documentary about the state of transportational cycling in Brussels, the capital of Belgium and the European Union (EU). The city is gridlocked 24 hours a day (and has been for years…in the early 80s, I traveled to Brussels many times and was blown away by how many cars there were). It looks like some folks are finally getting serious about taking back the streets for ALL users, not just motorists…but there’s a long way to go.
Anyhow, it’s an enjoyable and enlightening documentary. Many of us in the United States mistakenly believe that most European cities, on the whole, embrace bicycles as a valid form of transportation. Alas, some cities are getting it right and too many others are only developing infrastructure for more cars. It’s an uphill battle for a number of heavily-populated EU cities…luckily, there are plenty of good examples nearby (Copenhagen, Berlin, Amsterdam) of cities who took back the streets for ALL users. Let’s hope the planners and politicians in Brussels’ 19 municipalities can get together and figure out a plan that benefits everyone, reduces gridlock and makes the city a healthier and safer place to live.
The video is about 20 minutes long, so pour yourself another cup of coffee and settle in — work can wait!