The Safest Suburb In The World Did It By Ending The Culture Of Cars

Houten’s main road, which was not actually a road but a winding path through what looked like a golf course or a soft-edged set from Teletubbies: all lawns and ponds and manicured shrubs. Not a car in sight. We rolled past an elementary school and kindergarten just as the lunch bell rang. Children, some of whom seemed barely out of diapers, poured out, hopped on little pink and blue bicycles, and raced past us, homeward. “We are quite proud of this,” Tiemens boasted. “In most of the Netherlands, children don’t bike alone to school until they are eight or nine years old. Here they start as young as six.”“Their parents must be terrified,” I said.“There’s nothing to fear. The little ones do not need to cross a single road on their way home.”

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The Safest Suburb In The World Did It By Ending The Culture Of Cars

Houten’s main road, which was not actually a road but a winding path through what looked like a golf course or a soft-edged set from Teletubbies: all lawns and ponds and manicured shrubs. Not a car in sight. We rolled past an elementary school and kindergarten just as the lunch bell rang. Children, some of whom seemed barely out of diapers, poured out, hopped on little pink and blue bicycles, and raced past us, homeward. 

“We are quite proud of this,” Tiemens boasted. “In most of the Netherlands, children don’t bike alone to school until they are eight or nine years old. Here they start as young as six.”

“Their parents must be terrified,” I said.

“There’s nothing to fear. The little ones do not need to cross a single road on their way home.”

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