Last week I was in Frankfurt, Germany for EuroBike. The photo is from the last night in Germany, at a beer garden next to the river, on a dedicated multiuse path, was the perfect send-off. Frankfurt isn’t the dreamy European city. It’s pretty dirty with a “basic” bike/walk system compared to some areas of Europe but yet car-free or car-light living was reasonable for most.
This was the reminder I needed that America doesn’t need to be Amsterdam. Shooting for the stars is great but we more importantly need smaller cars, slower speeds, dedicated bike paths, and good trains. I came back not wanting a dream world for my kids, but a better world. A world where biking or walking to a local public school should be safe. A world where any death using transportation is an alarm of design failure and it’s investigated to be fixed. A world where the local city and advocacy are driven, and not cloaked behind selfish motivations.
Frankfurt wasn’t the European city I had hoped to experience but it was perhaps exactly what I needed to see. A reasonable city to strive for, to fuel my fire to keep fighting for a better, realistic, but necessary, place for my kids to live.