Comment 39197

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted March 27, 2010 at 00:07:30

Bikes are part of the culture in Holland, not so much here.

It has nothing to do with culture. That's garden variety magical thinking, not to mention empirically false.

In the 1970s, Holland (and Denmark, and Germany, and...) was just as auto-dependent as North America. They started building their enviable bike and transit networks in response to the OPEC Oil Crisis. They did this in concert with steep gas taxes to reduce dependence on imported oil and incentivize more sustainable land use and transportation patterns.

North America, in contrast, was a net oil exporter and mostly rejected gas taxes as they would reduce oil and auto industry profits. Instead, we continued the suburban build-out that Europe curtailed after the 1970s.

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