Saturday, February 22, 2020

LEGO doesn't have bike lanes!

Marcel Steeman, a regional councilor in the Netherlands, was playing Lego with his kids a few months ago when he noticed something strange.
“There were Lego cyclists, but I wondered where they had to cycle,” he told DutchNews.nl. “If you are Dutch you are used to having cycling lanes.”
Image result for lego logo

The streets in Lego’s city sets had space for cars, trains, even tiny storm drains but no designated space for zero-emission, human-powered vehicles like bikes. Even worse, it appeared that Lego’s streets were becoming more hostile toward pedestrians over time. As compared to Lego sets from years ago, the cars seem to have grown larger — evolving from four- to six-studs wide — and the roads appeared to be getting wider, while the sidewalks were getting more and more narrow.

With the help of Marco te Brommelstroet, an associate professor in urban planning at the University of Amsterdam who tweets under the name Cycling Professor, Steeman submitted two designs to Lego’s “Ideas” project, in which fans are encouraged to submit proposals for new Lego sets. His proposal was simple: more bike lanes.
Unfortunately, Steeman’s ideas were rejected for apparently not falling within the toy manufacturer’s conditions. “The problem is that Lego is a worldwide company and traffic rules are not the same,” Steeman told DutchNews.nl. “You can draw a red Dutch path, but it doesn’t work in the US or Australia, or even Denmark, which has blue cycling lanes.”
“It is on one hand a metaphor about how we don’t think about our own streets and how they then become a radical monopoly,” he said. “On the other hand they limit the creativity of future generations; these [street] plates are where you make your first adventures and where you start thinking about the city!”

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