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Nijmegen: The City That Tamed Cars So People Can Walk & Bike Where They Please

This Streetfilm was a pure joy to make, and it really snuck up on me. Nijmegen, a small Dutch city, was never on my radar. But I found myself in town last month for the Velo-City 2017 conference, and it was a marvel.

The car-free center of Nijmegen is full of street life. Kids play and ride bikes without giving it a second thought. People just don't have to worry about cars. Nijmegen has accomplished this by devising a system where essential motor traffic, like buses and deliveries, has access to central city streets, but other vehicles do not.

In the city center, bicycling accounts for nearly 60 percent of trips, according to Sjors Van Duren, program director of Velo-City. The stories of these smaller Dutch cities "are not often told," he said, but they should be. The extent to which Nijmegen has prioritized walking, biking, and transit -- and kept car traffic at bay -- is something every city should strive for.

So I started interviewing as many people as I could -- residents and visitors -- about their experience in Nijmegen, to show what it's like to live in a city where cars have been tamed and people can walk and bike where they please.

  • Clarence Eckerson
    850+ Streetfilms
  • Sjors Van Duren
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    Environmental, Transportation, Bicycle
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 1 second
  • Completion Date:
    July 1, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    2,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Clarence Eckerson

Clarence Eckerson, Jr. is frequently referred to as “the hardest working man in transportation show biz” for his dedication to making difficult, wonky concepts more accessible and entertaining to the general public. He's been documenting advocacy transportation for over 15 years and produced nearly 850 Streetfilms since 2005, which have been viewed cumulatively at least 13 million times. His work has been featured in thousands of written articles, blogs and broadcast television media. He has spoken at over 100 events worldwide.

With no formal video training or education in an urban planning field, Clarence attributes much of his accumulated knowledge to never holding a driver’s license. 99% of all footage he shoots is by bike, foot, train, or bus, which gives his filmmaking a unique, see-it-as-it-happens feel. His favorite Streetfilms are Bogotá's Ciclovia, Groningen: The World’s Cycling City and Portland’s Intersection Repair.

He loves living in Jackson Heights, Queens with his wife Fátima, and his young son Clarence, III, whom he’s excited to watch grow up with diverse, exciting transportation options and fewer cars thanks to his hard work.

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