When people think of Europe, many of them think of this. And it’s true that in certain cities, such as Utrecht in the Netherlands, more than a quarter of all trips are made by bike. But this film — Brussels Express — shows the other side of European bicycle commuting, and it’s not all that pretty.
According to the film, Brussels is the most congested city in Europe, and cyclists claim just 4 percent of the road traffic for city streets. The twenty minute documentary gives viewers a glimpse into these streets, where cars abound and drivers honk their way through traffic and around seemingly unwanted cyclists. For those in the business of biking for a living — like the Brussels bike messengers in this film — the dynamics on the road can be beyond frustrating, yet not altogether discouraging. The more people who become frustrated with sitting their car for hours — waiting for the traffic to move — the more potential there is for a shift in how people choose to transport themselves to and from work day to day.
As one of the main bike messengers in the short film, Karl-Heinz Pohl, puts it:
It’s not that it’s me and traffic. I am the traffic. You are the traffic. Somebody who walks there somebody who drives a car there and somebody who drives a bike — we are all the traffic.
Every Wednesday on Ditch Your Car we’ll be bringing you just another reason to spend more time on two wheels. Be it a photo, a statistic or an inspirational video, we want to keep reminding you about why riding is great!