Liz's Spot






About Me

O satisfy us in

the morning with

Your lovingkindness,

That we may sing

for joy and be glad

all our days.

Psalm 90:14


Monday, April 11, 2005

Feature: The European approach to transportation.

Europeans do use cars a lot, like Americans, but they also use trains a great deal for longer distance traveling. Americans might use trains more if they were more available, but I guess it seems like trains wouldn't catch on as well in the U.S. I don't know--it seems like Americans like the individuality of using their cars. Europeans also use bikes and rollerblades and walking a lot more for short distance travel than I am used to. I'm sure there are lots of people in American cities who travel by foot a lot and who use rollerblades, but I think Europeans definitely use bikes more widely than Americans. Americans bike a lot, but it's different. Americans bike largely for recreation, and some for transportation, while Europeans bike largely for transportation, and some for recreation. Also, most biking Americans fit in the young to middleage group, and I would say more than half are men. In Europe, all kinds of people, including older people and more women, use bikes, and for everything, including grocery shopping. The result is that bikes are better designed to be practical--a typical bike has a bell, fenders to keep mud from splashing, and one or more baskets; also, cities are more bike-friendly. Many sidewalks actually have a bike lane between the pedestrian part and the road, and there are traffic signals for many bike lanes, so bikers don't have to find a separate path or ride in the road.


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