by Laura Mitic (Carmanah) for The Jellyfish Project
In Holland, there are more bikes than people. In my opinion, it is the little country that could...or maybe I should rephrase that to the little country that can, and is. It seems to me that Holland is one of the most logical and well organized countries, and therefore, it was not surprising to hear that they have had a National Environmental Policy Plan for more than 20 years and have already met over 70% of the original goals of this plan. These environmental initiatives have already led to cleaning the country's rivers, improving waste management, and reducing air pollution. Now they are focusing on investing in renewable energy sources and further reducing carbon emissions by 20% by 2020 and 95% by 2015.
Holland is remarkably bike friendly, and I think this is one of the most amazing things that the rest of the world can learn from them. For many people in Holland, biking is the easiest, most logical and most economical choice. There are either well marked bike lanes or completely separate bike paths built alongside the roads. In the cities, thousands of bikes are organized into bike "parking lots." People of all ages ride their bikes, from kids going to school (they all ride together and it looks like one big bus load of kids, minus the bus, going down the street) to senior citizens (and of course, exercise is another benefit here too!).
Plus, there's more, check out this awesome article on how Holland has opened the world's first solar bike lane!