In A World With More Bikes Than People…

Photo by Tariqabjotu. Some rights reserved.

Photo by Tariqabjotu. Some rights reserved.

Since it’s Monday and we’re easing back into the week, this is more of a “food-for-thought” post than an “actual news” post. The New York Times ran a story late last week about a problem that, so far, seems unique to certain parts of Europe (but could become an international issue with a little luck!): In Amsterdam, bikes now outnumber people, and they’re running out of space for them.

Now, Amsterdam is reportedly the most bike-friendly city on the planet, so this report isn’t exactly surprising. The Times presents this as a unique problem, but a Guardian story from 2011 indicates that bikes have become a problem in Copenhagen too. With more and more cities worldwide expanding their bike lanes and encouraging more bikes on the road, we could be dealing with this “unique problem” more and more in the coming decades.

Now of course, this is purely a space issue. Bikes don’t pollute and they don’t run on any other fuel besides human energy, so this debate is far different than those regarding any other types of travel. Still, the scenes of entirely parking lots being completely filled with bikes indicated in the NYT makes me wonder: how do we better prepare for a world in which bikes are more common than people?

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