by Aaron Schwartz
Biking through the complicated and unique bicycle infrastructure of Amsterdam today was an amazing experience. Not only did this allow us to gain a new perspective of the city and the countryside, but we were also allowed to experience how Amsterdam has embraced its cyclists by giving them ample room on roadways as well as treating them equally if not better than other forms of transportation. I could not help but wonder if an achievement like Amsterdam’s could be the model for a city in America to adopt, but I simply cannot see it happening realistically for a number of reasons. Talking with Pascal today, I asked how much they were taxed yearly solely for infrastructure and cycling routes, and he responded with 30 euro. Considering how there is such an uproar about taxing even a dollar a year towards funding critical programs in the united States, I cannot see this ever being funded. As a result, the funding would fall onto corporations to sponsor what should really be a public service. Instead, “Bank of America biking” or whatever will begin to monopolize the increasing bike culture in America. Another reason that I believe that America has missed this opportunity is due to the suffering auto industry in America. Any attempt to bring in another form of transportation or to take routes away from cars will be met with incredible resistance by every American not seeing the benefit of decreasing traffic on the roadway. America has a lot to learn from the infrastructure of Amsterdam, but in my opinion, it is too late for real change to occur in America.
Agree? Disagree? Comment and let me know.