Friday, August 21, 2009

Evolution of an Amsterdam Road

No matter where you stand on the facilities debate, I think you'll find the beginning of this video interesting, which shows how Amsterdamsestraatweg -- the road to Amsterdam -- has changed since its beginning in 1812 as Napoleon's Imperial Route Number 2.

The sidepath reminds me of the two way sidepath along West Cliff Drive and Beach Street in Santa Cruz, California.

Via How We Drive and Hembrow.


  1. They have these all over Belgium, too. It's amazing how wide and smooth these were when Sweetie and I were there a few years ago. It'll be one sweet day when we see anything like this in the U.S. Here's to pipe dreams!

  2. Cyclepaths are mandatory, not optional, in Amsterdam. With that many cyclists out on the path at any given time, it'll be really difficult if I want to put on my fast looking bike clothes and go out for a training ride. I guess too many cyclists and little space have their disadvantages as well.

  3. Great, I can just imagine riding like this in the neighbourhood. I am from Europe but instead of increasing number of new cyclepaths almost all have no right of the way intersecting with side streets and our bike lanes are widely used as sidewalks or parking spaces :(

  4. First of all, it's the Amsterdamstraatweg in Utrecht, a complete different city in the middle of Holland.
    As you all now, Holland is a cycling country, everybody's got a bike and lots of people use a bike, to get to work, public transport, shopping.
    You can find these cyclepaths all over the country, in big cities and small villages and between these in the country. It's a safe place to cycle. They are mandantory to cycle on, but they're not just senseless paths starting somewhere and ending somewhere else. No, these paths are a part of a complete trafficsystem, designed to get you everywhere in and through the country. For instance, I live in the far eastern part of the country near the German border and I can and do cycle safely all the way to Amsterdam, a distance of 180 km.
    There's something you've got to realise. We've got cyclinglaws. Laws that give the cyclist a confirmed place in traffic and protect the cyclist. When you're struggling to get save-distance laws for cars, we cyclists have got a RIGHT to cycle the streets of our country. We've got special trafficlights, free cycleparkings, free transport of your folding bike in public transport and so on.
    Yes accidents happen, but a driver of a car that ran into a cyclist will be prosecuted.
    To comment on anonymous, there will be too many cyclist on these paths from time to time, but to go out in your fast looking bike clothes for a training ride, no problems. You take one of these paths and head out to the countryside. There you can cycle as fast as you can without anybody getting into your way.You've got to look out off course when you're sharing the road with cars, but there's room for you. Understand, the size of our cities isn't that big as they are over where you live. We've got about 16 million people living here, in the country. enough room for a bike or two ;-)
    For the rest, hey I like the blog, I like strange looking bikes, I own about 6 bikes and if you want to know more about cycling in Europe, let me know.
    In the meantime, from one cyclist to an other, greetz!

  5. Harm, thanks for the additional local info on this!