Traffic Through the Eyes of a European Bike Messenger

May 14, 2012
Outside
Outside Magazine

Sander Vandenbrouke has managed to make a 19-minute biking documentary that has nothing to do with the issues you might expect in a politically-motivated film about cycling. There are no mentions of climate change, or the cost of petrol, or fitness in The Brussels Express. Instead, he concentrates on the issue of traffic in, what he calls, Europe's most congested city. He looks at urban gridlock through the eyes of a bike messenger who slices through slow-moving cars, and ends up making a smart argument for reducing congestion.

Bike courier Karl-Heinz Pope takes the viewer quickly through the history of car traffic in the city as he's witnessed it. After he leads off, politicians and bureaucrats address the city's traffic, the slight increase in cyclists (from one to four percent), and how the city could encourage even more people to bike. For example, the city's politicians could start pedaling to work. "We just had a new government in Denmark, I think four or five of the new ministers. When they had to arrive to the royal palace, to the queen to be acknowledged as the new government, they arrived on bicycles," said Klaus Bondhem, a politician in Copenhagen. "It had an enormous effect."

--Joe Spring
@joespring
facebook.com/joespring.1

Filed To: Politics, Biking

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