A Tale of Two Videos.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Jun 1, 2010
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Rush Hour: Bicycle vs. Car. {2 videos}

If we build it (more bike lanes), we will ride.

All credit goes to Treehugger on this one, who first posted these two videos together (like, the below town has 55% of all commutes via bicycle. We here in Greenie-Green-Green Boulder, who love talking about how we love to bicycle, get about 3% of daily commutes via bike—though we claim 5%).


Morning rush hour in the 4th largest city in the Netherlands. Streets look like this when 33% of ALL trips are made by bicycle!

This is an ordinary Wednesday morning in April 2010 at around 8.30 am. Original time was 8 minutes that were compressed into 2 minutes, so everything is 4 times faster than in reality. The sound is original.

This is one of the busiest junctions in Utrecht a city with a population of 300,000. No less than 18,000 bicycles and 2,500 buses pass here every day. And yet Google Street View missed it. Because private motorized traffic is restricted here.

These cyclists cross a one way bus lane (also used by taxis and municipal vehicles), two light rail tracks and then a one way street that can be used by private vehicles.

Behind the camera is a railway (you can hear the squeaking sounds of the trains passing) and the main railway station is very close too. A number of rental bikes from the station pass and many of the cyclists will have come by train for the first part of their commute.

For those who frown upon the total absence of bike helmets in this video, consider these findings from a US study:

“Cycling in the Netherlands is much safer than in the USA. The Netherlands has the lowest non-fatal injury rate as well as the lowest fatality rate, while the USA has the highest non-fatal injury rate as well as the highest fatality rate. Indeed, the non-fatal injury rate for the USA is about 30 times higher than for the Netherlands.

Injury rate per million km cycled: USA 37.5; NL 1.4
Fatality rate per 100 million km cycled: USA 5.8; NL 1.1”

From: Pucher, John and Buehler, Ralph (2008) ‘Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons from The Netherlands, Denmark and Germany’.


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


4 Responses to “A Tale of Two Videos.”

  1. Patrick says:

    And not one helmet spotted!

  2. Janice says:

    Waylon….you always have the best posts! Perfect for me to share tomorrow at work after cheering on my co-workers for using active transit for Clean Air Day. I threatened to block off the parking lot but boy did I get some irate responses…so I've resorted to bribery…..prizes.

  3. K.O. says:

    I wonder if the helmet issue has more to do with the higher possibility of being hit by a car?

  4. Elaine says:

    Remember also the netherlands are flat. I live in Mexico City and there is no way I would bicycle here. The topography is steep and the traffic manic. I would have to have a death wish to cycle here other than Pasaeo de la Reforma on a Sunday morning when this road is closed to cars. The roads are horrendous and the smog dreadful and I am not sure what the answer would be. A city with 24 million has some complex issues to deal with.