Shared… everything! Vondelpark Rhythm

Vondelpark Rhythm, originally uploaded by Amsterdamize.

I have borrowed Mark‘s short video of Vondelpark in Amsterdam as it shows perfectly the true meaning of ‘sharing’.

Although I fully understand and appreciate the arguments/discussions of why shared pedestrian/cycle paths here in the UK don’t work, I am also very aware that the underlining reason for this is that we are just not used to share at all – transport/highways wise. We have been so used to cars on the road – so much so that too often I hear daft things like cyclists should pay road tax or get out of the way or generally being an annoyance – pedestrians on pavements and bikes… well… wherever left that even the notion of sharing makes people queasy.

Sharing is seen as ‘giving up’… being less better off… i.e. I can’t go as fast – car view – or eeekkk I am gonna be run over – pedestrian view. We too often forget the simple act of tolerance, cooperation and respect of one another, as well as the understated ability to self-regulate 😉

A landscape that is monothematic is much more boring than a mixed one! I mean, how fun is Mark’s video? A chilled mix of people walking, chatting, walking themselves, walking their dogs, walking their bikes, walking their scooters (!!) then fancy stuff on rolleskaters and of course cycling… cycling alone, cycling with your kid, tandem cycling, cycling in group, cycling and eating, cycling and chatting… and just simply sitting, enjoying a drink and chilling…Now, that’s what I call sharing!


4 responses to “Shared… everything! Vondelpark Rhythm

  1. I ride past Whitworth Park a couple of times a week, and the Oxford Road side, and I’m staggered by the numbers of people who amble down the cycle path alongside the park railings, instead of using the pavement next to the road. And then when you politely ask them to make way they look at you as if you’re stupid… “how dare you ask me to step out of your way, you cycle-riding person on a cycle path…”

    Or am I really in the wrong place, and my interpretation of ‘cycle path’ is wrong?

    • Hey Chrissy! I know exactly what you mean, those are definitely cycle paths. I don’t mind people walking on them really, I got used to it, but like you I find it so sad when instead of all just mingling and mixing, being chilled, there’s always an air of hostility 😦 we’re all so stressed all the time… running around, we should all slow down!

  2. Wow… I’m not even sure if cycling in Manchester’s parks is allowed. I do it anyone and nobody’s ever stopped me, but I always half expect someone to shout ‘oi! What do you think you doing?!’
    Also, it’s nice to see so many new(er) cyclists on the Fallowfield Loop recently – but why don’t they know to keep left?

  3. Lovely video! My local town has just implemented a shared pedestrian/bicycle/car/bus space on the sea front and you wouldn’t believe the consternation it originally caused in the local paper. I think that for some people it was genuinely a brand new idea and they just couldn’t imagine how it would work. Of course, a few weeks later and the area has been full up of people enjoying the seaside sunshine in lovely harmony with each other. It’s become one of my favourite parts of the town 🙂

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