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Communist daily in 1965: Bicycle ‘Cinderella of the road’

From 1965, communist daily ‘De Waarheid’ waged a campaign for separated bicycle lanes in Amsterdam. Until that moment, only the Leidsestraat had had a dedicated bicycle lane, but since bicycles had been banned from that route. “And thus the bicycle, while being first among the means of transportation, remained the Cinderella of the road.”

De Waarheid argued for fast and safe bicycle routes in and out of the city. Since the 1960s, substantial improvements have been achieved, but some the priorities of the day still make sense:

The most important routes requiring a solution are generally held to be those of the Haarlemmerstraat and -dijk; Raadhuisstraat and Rozengracht; Vijzelstraat and Utrechtsestraat. (The difficulties in Oost appear to have been solved now that the broadened Weesperstraat will get bicycle lanes.)

Incidentally, a photo caption in the same newspaper also makes a rather modern impression:

Only just in time, this resident of the Gerard Schaepstraat near the Frederik Hendrikplantsoen prevents her bicycle being thrown on a lorry, used by the Amsterdam police to ransack the city for bicycle wrecks that are no longer being used. It may not be all that new anymore, this lady says, but it’s still too good for the scrapheap.

For those who want to know more about the history of bicycles in Amsterdam, there’s good news: in January next year, the long-awaited new book De fietsrepubliek by ‘Dishwasher Pete’ Jordan will be published.

(Thank you MK + FB for the tip)

26 August 2012 |