During my cycling commute to work this morning, my thoughts turned to Amsterdam. What provoked this you might ask? The daydream inducing catalyst actually bolted from the ear-buds of my iPod. It was the song Amsterdam by Griffin House. That very distinctive song elicited vivid memories of my visit to Amsterdam during the summer of 2005.
As has been previously reported on many Portland blogs, Amsterdam is the foremost cycling city in the world. I was fortunate enough to witness this firsthand. Many people believe that Portland should aspire to the cycling standards of Amsterdam. Count me as one of those people.
There are certainly many signs that Portland could become “Little Amsterdam” instead of “Little Beirut.” Take for example the commitment by the City to achieve Platinum status as bestowed by the League of American Bicyclists, the great advocacy work of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA), and the beginning of a Dutch bike invasion – like jog&olif and others.
We have a long way to go before we approach the standards of cycling in Amsterdam, but Portland is a unique place, and we have a good start. One measure of when we have achieved cycling parity with Amsterdam is when a scene like the one to the left appears in Portland. This was a creative way for one Amsterdam resident to make use of a car that was apparently no longer needed.
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