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How Amsterdam Became a Bicycle Paradise

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The Dutch capital Amsterdam is widely known for being bike-friendly. But it wasn’t always a model cycling city. Public outrage at rising traffic casualties in the Seventies caused city planners to rethink their approach to urban design. Video by Gloria Kurnik
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Text Comments (648)
Puro (7 days ago)
Fun fact: at 1:57 when you read the counter it says "bedrag", bedrag means "scam" in Norwegian.. Cars = scam. I still can't fathom how anyone thinks the car as a positive.
Peet (8 days ago)
Practically nothing is on point in this video, but that's usually the case when foreigners try to explain my country.
mo v (21 days ago)
This bicycle culture is also the same in Japan.. they also have much nicer bikes
Luca YT (23 days ago)
They bully chinese tourists with their bike trafic.
Jim Skra (1 month ago)
Some elderly people are flexing on eachother how many km they where riding
philippe Hellegers (1 month ago)
Graeme SYDNEY (1 month ago)
The terrain of Amsterdam and Holland is very bike friendly to start with.
NVanHiker (1 month ago)
"How Amsterdam became a bicycle paradise"? It's FLAT. (By the way, it's even more of a bicycle THIEF paradise).
RogerWilco (1 month ago)
The big think is that in the Netherlands, bicylces are just a mode of transport, like walking or taking a car or train or airplane. It's not primarily a sport or way of exercise. This means nearly everyone bikes, especially children up to the age of 18, as it's the only way for a teenager to get around without help from parents besides walking. This makes everyone a biker, even when driving a car, just like all humans are pedestrians. Owning a bicycle is like having two legs as far as the Dutch are concerned.
Children can also use public transport. It's safe, comfortable and a great opportunity to do your homework last minute ;)
jojopuppyfish (1 month ago)
I was just there last week. Had the PRIVILEGE of bike there for 2 days. Yes, it was amazing.
A v A (1 month ago)
Where an american pays just $20K a dutch would pay €34-39K for the exact same car. Thats nearly double. Thats why dutch all ride bikes.
Tyler Padgett (1 month ago)
I love my bike but I don't want the government forcing me to ride it. It's safer for bikes because half of the roads do not allow cars and obviously they have bike lanes where the US is extremely lacking
Naz Sen (1 month ago)
the bikers in US ride around thinking they're that same thing as a car that's why they die
Vicky thecat (1 month ago)
Amsterdam - another city being ruined by tourists. If you are going to visit, make sure you go to other cities too, or even stay in one of those cities. The Netherlands has sooo many beautiful, cultural, fun cities, don't limit yourself to Amsterdam, please.
Sander Jansen (1 month ago)
It is not just Amsterdam but every city or village in the Netherlands. And the bike paths between.
Ricardo Piat (1 month ago)
I love Ámsterdam ✌✌
Pistachio Macaroon (1 month ago)
This is slowly becoming Montreal, and I think it's fantastic! Our winters are brutal though...
Sigmaster40 (1 month ago)
It's high time bicyclists in the Netherlands start paying for the roads they use, just like all the motorists do in the form of road tax. Pay speeding fines for riding too fast and pay for licenses and insurance and must wear protective clothing and a helmet. The Dutch police do stop the non racers for no lights or bells and often ticket them, but for some reason the racers appear to be exempt from the same rules.
Sigmaster40 (1 month ago)
Bicycles in the Netherlands are more of a nuisance for most people. Bicyclists are often rude , dont pay attention to what's going on around them and dont follow the rules creating road hazards to motorists and dangers to pedestrians. Often they cause car accidents but are never at fault as bicycles are considered sacred, like cows are to India. The Dutch infatuation with bicycles is almost on border line insanity, where stubborn bicyclists just think they own the roads. The worst are the A social whielrenners and their platoons of madmen in tights who think they are all in the tour of France, but speed through bike paths threatening slower older people and children on bikes, people walking their dogs and tying up traffic on roads where even if there is a bike path, these morons still use roads, pissing off all motorists. They are supposed to have a light and bell on their bikes like the rest , but choose instead to yell at people to get out of their way. I guess the Dutch government didn't tell them the Dutch roads are not a race circuit. Bikes might be great for the big cities and a cheap form of transportation if you only live 15 minutes from your work or school, but for the rest of us, bikes are nothing more than an excuse for people to prove their stupidity!
Kirs A (1 month ago)
u funny troll
Christopher Wilcox (1 month ago)
Why can't US cities be like this. Looking at you LA
Donald Joe Trump (1 month ago)
@Christopher Wilcox yeah, now it's a limiting factor for biking :/
Christopher Wilcox (1 month ago)
@Donald Joe Trump distances big because we embraced cars so hard
Donald Joe Trump (1 month ago)
The distances are too big there
skeelo69 (1 month ago)
Brakes , not Breaks 😂😂😂 0:26
Anti natal (1 month ago)
I live in Mumbai and I have given up the motorcycle completely and chosen a bicycle for my personal use. I am pretty capable to pedal 90 to 100 km everyday. And I move fastest in the chaotic Mumbai traffic. There are no cycling lanes in Mumbai. Cycling is the future. Cars must disappear from the planet. Only metro trains and buses must be allowed.
Kyle Brock (1 month ago)
As an American I'm suppose to fear thinking like this. People drive three blocks to eat dinner and return home.
trolltider är här (1 month ago)
Bcs it's FLAT .
tonythedrummer66 (1 month ago)
cant wait to see this advancement on the Balkans, probably in about 100 years. cant take a Mercedes from a bosnian, no sir, even if the bike was Benz xD
Fred K (1 month ago)
3:18 I'm trying to find Denamrk and Finald on a map, but so far I didn't succeed....
M van der Waal (1 month ago)
Denamrk and Finald arent countries
BRRA (1 month ago)
I didn't know my neighboring country is called Finald, thanks Bloomberg
Erq (1 month ago)
You should have also mentioned that the city, just like the country is unbelievable flat, which makes cycling easy, this will not work everywhere.
Kirs A (1 month ago)
three words: north sea winds
Simonkio Chiappatopi (2 months ago)
dio è una persona buona e giusta percio porco halla
Simonkio Chiappatopi (2 months ago)
parole sante porco beerus
King of Africa (2 months ago)
Because it's flat every where maybe
King of Africa (1 month ago)
@Snaakie which was possible due to being flat
Snaakie (1 month ago)
Nope, it's near the sea and flat so there's always wind (and rain). It's all infrastructure...everybody drives a bike and bikes have priority over cars.
Steven Kelty (2 months ago)
Stop de Kindermord!
Paul Ho (2 months ago)
JC E (2 months ago)
There's a problem when people talk about implementing this kind of stuff to their cities or countries, and that's territory and population. It will always be easier to have excellent systems when there are fewer components to fix, but try to do it in a city 5 or 6 times bigger like NYC. It's not feasible. We work with what we can.
General Falco (2 months ago)
Considering your sidewalks are the size of two to three Dutch sidewalks, the solution is pretty simple.
allyourcode (2 months ago)
tldr: they made a conscious choice, and designed accordingly.
mghbhgm (2 months ago)
Have you been to Amsterdam? Its everything but a cyclists paradise
Bradley Post (2 months ago)
Bikes are not as fast as cars, so many US cities and their suburbs like Houston, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, Phoenix etc. would not be able to accomplish this. Creating bike lanes alongside streets and sidewalks makes much more sense for the US. Driving from my suburb in NYC to Miami, FL takes 18 hours whereas a drive from Groningen (Northern NL) to Eindhoven (Southern NL) takes 2 hours. The US is enormous, a fact that is hard to grasp if you spend your time traveling between small nations in the EU. No wonder biking is mostly a leisure activity here, not a lifestyle.
Jordan Wright (2 months ago)
The world would be much better off if every city was like Amsterdam. Unfortunately the interests of the economy and what is best for people don't always see eye to eye. the big business of automotive and petrol industries desired to fill their own pockets at the expense of the peoples well being. Hopefully electric cars will cange things for the better this time but our governments had plenty of opportunity to strike a better balance between petrol motors and public transport and chose to favor the wrong choice for its people. Congrats to Amsterdam for keeping their city beautiful and clean and still very efficient.
teresa 45 (2 months ago)
Now tourists make the city unsafe:( Don't know how to behave, litter, drink and cycle super slow.
da ne (2 months ago)
Doored once bent his door to hell.
Paul Martin (2 months ago)
I'm sure that if the Netherlands wasn't so flat then you probably wouldn't have nearly as many people fighting to make it a bike commuting country
Snaakie (1 month ago)
Non argument... It's near to the sea so it's windy and rainy. It's just mindset and opportunity, the infrastructure is there to favour bicyclists.
Tom (2 months ago)
Wish the US was more bike friendly
MrGitty93 (2 months ago)
Yeah funny thing is that you're much more likely to get hit by bike than by car. It's nice to have so many people using bike insted of car, but it's useless when behaving to pedestrians same way drivers behave to bikes in other cities
Vageegee Smithins (2 months ago)
You spelled breaks wrong. I guess that's what a college education gets you. It's spelled brakes, when referring to a car.
Karel Krol (2 months ago)
I regret you don’t report the acountable amount of annoying cargo bikes in Amsterdam, used by young millennial and over-concerned mothers, to bring their 14 years old children to school and stops traffic. When we where young, we walked or cycled alone to school.
Mike Gustafson (2 months ago)
Why do these pro-bike stories never show rainy, snowy or icy days? 🤔 Just askin'...!
VGLV (1 month ago)
Quincy 00 (2 months ago)
Because we don’t care about a bit of Rain... it rains half of the year here. Thats what they invented raincoats for
Ramis Zinal (2 months ago)
I live in Germany now and it seems like people don't care at all when it is raining ✌️
D Rod (2 months ago)
First of all. The USA is a much bigger place than this little villages. Places like L.A and NYC are pretty big. Sure you can bike in NYC. But if you live in Queens and work in Manhattan that’s a huge ride. The idea is not to compare and criticize is to learn how to make city’s better for everyone. Not juts the red light running bikes. 😊😊
Thomas Rossi (2 months ago)
It's crazy how much space cars take up
AAK (2 months ago)
Biking Really saves Our Mother Nature..We human are always Stupid Polluting & Destroying Our beautiful Natural Weather & This World
detroit ghetto (2 months ago)
Dutch women must have perfect legs
jeylful (2 months ago)
And men!
Mayday ImPOrtAnt (2 months ago)
Wish I lived there, NJ cop just gave me a warning for riding my bike on the sidewalk, yet the streets where I live the cars go 40 mph and going on the road is a death sentence
George George (2 months ago)
I wish America took notes
Les H Mahagow (2 months ago)
It's a cultural thing. Also the architecture prohibits new roads in Amsterdam. Most of the Netherlands is supplied with wonderful roads. Rotterdam is the main port for Europe and has an excellent system of roads linking it to the rest of the EU. This is a bit of BS propaganda from the Watermelons. The fact that Holland is 'FLAT' ... very flat .... means cycling is a very efficient way of getting about.
Ron Villejo (2 months ago)
"Research show a correlation between higher numbers of bikes and lower casualties among cyclists."
London should be like this
Egg Head (1 month ago)
all cities!
L M (2 months ago)
Not just Amsterdam - biking is a big thing in the entire country. Biking to highschool for 30 minutes? Normal.
Alex Nevi (2 months ago)
Блять когда же у нас будет этак же охуенно?!!!! Заебался лавировать меж машинами и пешиками - то блеать бордюра, то панель, то путь!!!! АААААААА бесит! >[[[[
Louix Griego (2 months ago)
Doubtless, many positives. I wonder how many studies have shown the billions of loss in revenue due to slow commutes? Funny that Bloomberg wouldn't bring up this question... Suspicious even.
Roland Boerhof (2 months ago)
Getting around in Amsterdam by bike is faster than by car. Same for most of the cities in the Netherlands
L M (2 months ago)
We are doing fine economically, so yes - positives.
Netsrac (2 months ago)
Dude amsterdam is not even the bike city. Thats Nijmegen
Jonny Smokes (2 months ago)
I moved to Holland from America years ago and still haven’t bought a car. The bike system is awesome and for long trips you just take your bike on the train!
Farouq Omaro (2 months ago)
It happened because the Dutch government was willing to listen to the people. In most countries, money makes the government listen.
mario menendez (2 months ago)
Now cyclists just have to learn to respect pedestrians! 😀
Moos (2 months ago)
Fuck bikes I have one but also a acar paying road taxes adhering the traffic laws contrary to bikes they drive through red lights call while they cycle don't pay parking fees fuck bikes and Amsterdam
Kirs A (1 month ago)
angry much? Maybe you should move..
Haryder (2 months ago)
It's fun and game until your bike stolen.
dandanthetaximan (1 month ago)
Planespotting Nürnberg That’s what Ofo bikes are for
You just steal it from the next person. And so on and so on until the person who stole your former bike gets it stolen again. Then he steals yours that you have stolen yourself.
Haryder (2 months ago)
@dandanthetaximan no doubt about that.
dandanthetaximan (2 months ago)
Haryder not as bad having your car stolen
NOCH (2 months ago)
3:23 What's Finald? Did they mean Finland?
0j0nn (2 months ago)
Germany take notice!
Bryner Apple (2 months ago)
The Netherlands Has more bikes than people Lowest country ever Tallest people on average
Wong Tsz Shing (2 months ago)
But just one thing: how would they commute when rainning?
Roland Boerhof (2 months ago)
the same
I'm sending signals (2 months ago)
The Netherlands is so much more than just Amsterdam... Wankers.
Skinny Animus (2 months ago)
2:05 Absolute madlads
Maxwell S (2 months ago)
People embrace cycling in Amsterdam because they don't have to wear a helmet.
Netzach ben Jozsef (2 months ago)
Amsterdam was way ahead of its time. It’s also the most gorgeous city in Europe.
Quinten Moonen (2 months ago)
@hj*yeah, I guess and probably no
hj (2 months ago)
No and no.
970357ers (2 months ago)
Surprisingly, one of the flattest countries in the world.
Nanny Noya (2 months ago)
In the 70s it was a luxury to have a car. Everyone lives near thei work or go by public transport. Woonerf was first implemented (late 60s) in Emmen and introduced by Niek de Boer. it means cars can only go a maximum speed of 15 km/hr.
Nanny Noya (1 month ago)
@Planespotting Nürnberg thank you. I was talking about the Netherlands I don't know about the USA and the UK. I could remember the time of "Autoloze Zondag" no cars were allowed to drive at Sunday. In our street, like others in our town, there were only 8 cars against ± 70 households. So having a car was not that common in our town in early 70s.
I don't think having a car was a luxury in the USA and the UK back then, it was common. But for the rest I agree.
no name (2 months ago)
1:41 electric car ( sort of )
You 2 (2 months ago)
How is Amsterdam a bikesparadice? All of the Netherlands is better than the busy streets of Amsterdam.
Joe Black (2 months ago)
Well it is the capitol of a major country. As such it is a large, busy metro, and to have such a place dominated by cycling is remarkable. It's amazing. Look at it from somebody on the outside's perspective. I'm sure there are better places to cycle in the Netherlands though. That can hardly be a surprise.
Freek Buttz (2 months ago)
Lol. As a Dutchman, I went biking in NY on a couple occassions. What a horrible, yet hilarious, experience that was. You basically have to maneuver between cars and the little cycleways that are there are almost always blocked. I can see why Americans don’t commute by bike (while it would certainly help battle the amazing gridlock traffic problem NYC has). Bike infrastructure really is the most important facilitating factor here.
hazemau (2 months ago)
Its more like a hell now with all the tourists walking on the streets. Im constantly dodging annoying tourists in the city centre 😩
RSA (2 months ago)
How Amsterdam became a cycle nightmare!
Kirs A (1 month ago)
Big Daddy (2 months ago)
It's a bicycle shithole.
Imca vdB (2 months ago)
In 2030 there are plans making Amsterdam a city where gas, gasoline and petrol cars are banned.
thijs vnoordt (2 months ago)
Lol i’m dutch and amsterdam is actually the least save cycling city in the whole country
thijs vnoordt (1 month ago)
@Han Solo helemaal eens👌👌
thijs vnoordt (1 month ago)
@Han Solo ff voor de duidelijkheid ik heb zelf totaal geen problemen met fietsen in amsterdam en ik vindt zelfs erg vermakkelijk, ik vind t alleen grappig dat ze net die ene stad kiezen waar het meeste auto's door de binnen stad rijden en waar het voor "de onervaren fietser" het gevaarlijkst is
thijs vnoordt (1 month ago)
@Han Solo ja dat is allemaal zeker waar alleen van alle steden in nederland is amsterdam toch de gevaarlijkste Ohja 10 keer ofzo niet heel veel maar wel genoeg om n idee te krijgen
Leah Wald (2 months ago)
it does help that the country is flat
Flavio Morocho (1 month ago)
Moving from the US to Amsterdam, makes you realize that not only it is healthier but you save a BUNCH of money by not having a car.
NVanHiker (1 month ago)
I save a bunch of money by living in a large US city without a car.
Paul Hayden (2 months ago)
The US is not about quality of life or safety of children. The US is about money.
Egg Head (1 month ago)
money brings cancer! wake up!
D Rod (2 months ago)
Juts send me whatever extra money you don’t need. 😘
Woaleck42 (2 months ago)
@gizdonk In the US?
Luca Marghidan (2 months ago)
@Slomofogo No they love to work their asses off so they gotta take it of the edge sometimes.
Peter Harris (2 months ago)
seem to remember some time ago there was a YouTube item on cycle parking at the railway station
Felix ten Haaf (2 months ago)
Utrecht is the bike capital of the Netherlands.. not Amsterdam
hj (2 months ago)
Amsterdam is the bike capital for tourists, and they don’t know how to cycle.
abcxyz (2 months ago)
Felix ten Haaf (2 months ago)
Why wouldn 't it be? Stands above Amsterdam in the international bike city index. Has the highest percentage of cycling people regarding the big cities and also boasts the worlds biggest bicycle storage and Netherlands longest bicycle lane.
Raven Staal (2 months ago)
Felix ten Haaf haha you wish
Simon (2 months ago)
You mean 'how The Netherlands Became a Bicycle Paradise'.
Sytze Wiersma (2 months ago)
When i bike home on a sunny summer evening, going under the Rijksmuseum and seeing Museumplein dooming up in front of me, makes me always VERY happy!
Sarah o (2 months ago)
That accent, tho. Cycle paths not psychopaths. 😂😂
Madhav K Maju (2 months ago)
Waiting for thos to happen in my country
abcxyz (2 months ago)
Waiting ;)
Yesica Reyes (2 months ago)
Commuting to work is amazing, it’s energizing and no pollution!! I live in DC and many of the streets have now a bike lane. More bikes and less cars would be amazing for the environment! One day I’ll visit the Netherlands , I wanna bike in the Dutch streets!
Luis Santander (2 months ago)
It’s very true.. i went with my car two times to Amsterdam, i hated both times.. it’s almost impossible to navigate through and it’s super expensive to park and/or finding a parking place.. they did it very well.. now, when i go to Amsterdam, i go with the train..
Dexter Ding (2 months ago)
I m so glad those stupid modernists short sided idiots’ ideas didn’t realise
What do Rod (3 months ago)
Anonymous 787 (3 months ago)
I want to move there!
Slomofogo (3 months ago)
Ik hou van dit idee! Amsterdammers: ze hebben fietsen FIETSEN! Ik hoor tring TRING!
Muhtar 777 (3 months ago)
Dear Bloomberg we already know about it...
Donald Trumpy (4 months ago)
I love amsterdam because they are bike friendly
abcxyz (2 months ago)
Yo Donald what about starting to believe in climate change by human activity as well
S G (4 months ago)
Japan: That's cute
Harish Gunathulasi (4 months ago)
World has to learn from dutch

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