Well, I can honestly say that the bicycle and train infrastructure in the Netherlands is amazing! I had such a wonderful, and carefree, time traveling through the Netherlands that it really makes riding a bike or taking a train in the U.S almost unbearable. Protected bike lanes, protected intersections, a signaling scheme that prioritizes bikes and pedestrians over the car… it was wonderful. Not only did I lean a lot from Dutch design, I also learned a lot from my amazing cohort. I don’t know if we just got luck in this group or what, but after two weeks of sharing a small room, I didn’t want to kill any of them. Ok, maybe one person…(j/k). I learned so much from my friends. Over dinner, gelato, drinks, and walks in the plaza, we often discussed the what we would like to change in the U.S. I think we all agree that if Dutch infrastructure was provided in the U.S. you would see a substantial increase in the bike use, and a decrease in car related fatalities among bike and pedestrians.
To the Dutch: Thank you for hosting boisterous Americans and allowing us to explore your cities on our bikes! Also, I’ve never eaten so much cheese and bread in my life!
To my cohort: Many of you I had already known when I entered this program, but this trip has solidified our friendships in a way that will last a lifetime. To my NEW friends – you were all fantastic, smart, and hilarious. I’m so happy that I’m returning to Portland with new friends that I can rely on for a laugh and beer over soccer.
To Dr. Bertini: Thank you for all your hard work in organizing such a wonderful program, for dealing with our variety of attitudes, and for dealing with Peter. We will miss you at Portland State but wish you the best of luck in California.
Oh boy, these guys…