When cities and counties in Minnesota propose to redesign a street in order to calm traffic, improve accessibility to biking, or create more inviting environments for walking, a gaggle of angry opponents often shows up to voice its objections. “We’re not like Portland! We’re not like Amsterdam!” they say. Well, neither was Amsterdam not too many decades ago.
This short film shows a police officer patrolling the streets of Amsterdam in a Jeep with megaphone amplification telling women how to cross the street, telling people how to use the tram, exhorting a women bicycling to keep to the right, and telling a young boy to get on the sidewalk with his scooter. After having witnessed the public hearing on adding bicycle lanes to three streets in Saint Paul Wednesday night, I can imagine more than a few of the parking enthusiasts in attendance would love to play the role of this Dutch police officer on Cleveland Avenue.