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Nijmegen: The City That Tamed Cars So People Can Walk and Bike Where They Please

This Streetfilm was a pure joy to make, and it really snuck up on me. Nijmegen, a small Dutch city, was never on my radar. But I found myself in town last month for the Velo-City 2017 conference, and it was a marvel.

The car-free center of Nijmegen is full of street life. Kids play and ride bikes without giving it a second thought. People just don't have to worry about cars. Nijmegen has accomplished this by devising a system where essential motor traffic, like buses and deliveries, has access to central city streets, but other vehicles do not.

In the city center, bicycling accounts for nearly 60 percent of trips, according to Sjors Van Duren, program director of Velo-City. The stories of these smaller Dutch cities "are not often told," he said, but they should be. The extent to which Nijmegen has prioritized walking, biking, and transit -- and kept car traffic at bay -- is something every city should strive for.

So I started interviewing as many people as I could -- residents and visitors -- about their experience in Nijmegen, to show what it's like to live in a city where cars have been tamed and people can walk and bike where they please.

Clarence Eckerson Jr. has been making fantastical transportation media in NYC since the late 1990s. He's never had a driver's license and never will.

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  • Vooch

    Munich :)

  • robert moore

    Excellent. So many good quotes too. As one man it's not all about great infrastructure, it's about examining the way we think about cities so we can walk and cycle.

  • KeNYC2030

    So important to hear that this didn't happen because the Dutch have some genetic mutation that predisposes them to biking. It was a conscious societal choice made not so many years ago.