Episode 77: Curbing Traffic with Melissa and Chris Bruntlett

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Doug Gordon: This is The War on Cars. I’m Doug Gordon. You might have noticed something a little different about the intro here. Our normal War on Cars theme music? It’s not there. Instead, what you just heard—and what you will hear throughout this episode—are the sounds of Delft, the small Dutch city that’s home to our guests Chris and Melissa Bruntlett. For a long time, Chris and Melissa lived in Vancouver with their two kids, and they were very involved in bicycling and safe streets advocacy there.

Doug: In 2018, after an extended trip to the Netherlands, they wrote Building the Cycling City: The Dutch Blueprint for Urban Vitality. It’s a book that shows how North American cities are following Dutch examples to add more public spaces, safer cycling facilities and inclusive mobility options. Then in 2019, Chris and Melissa packed up the kids and they moved to Delft. The lessons they’ve learned from living there formed the basis for their second book, Curbing Traffic: The Human Case for Fewer Cars in Our Lives. The book explains many benefits of car-free or car-light spaces. And yeah, we know that fewer cars can lead to more cycling and more walking, but there are so many more benefits from lower anxiety, less stress, increased independence for people of all ages and abilities, better social trust and improved mental and physical health. And car-light cities are quiet cities.

Doug: Today, Chris works as the marketing and communication manager at the Dutch Cycling Embassy, while Melissa works at Mobycon, a transportation and planning group, as the international communications specialist. So a quick note, I recorded this interview in the summer of 2021, shortly after their second book came out. Things got a little busy, so my apologies to Chris and Melissa for the delay. That being said, the observations in curbing traffic and building the cycling city are evergreen, and both books deserve a place in your collection. Enjoy my conversation with Chris and Melissa Bruntlett.

Doug: Melissa and Chris Bruntlett, welcome to The War on Cars.

Melissa Bruntlett: Hi there. It’s good to see you and talk to you again.

Chris Bruntlett: Hey, Doug. It’s great to be with you.

Doug: I’m so happy to have you both on because I remember when you wrote your first book, you swung through Brooklyn on a North American book tour and you did a talk at a local bike shop. You stayed at my apartment. And I think just then you said to me when you were here that there was something in the works about you moving to the Netherlands. I think that was about all you were willing to say at that point. So I guess this is now—what—over two years later. How’s it going?

Melissa Bruntlett: It’s going pretty well. Yeah, that tour was interesting because we were talking to a lot of people in a lot of locations and keeping it very much on the down low that Chris had accepted a job working for the Dutch Cycling Embassy. And yeah, we were already planting the seeds in our own brains of where we were going next, and I’m happy to report that two and a half years almost since we moved here—so that was February, 2019—yeah, pretty happy. [laughs]

Doug: So let’s talk about that first book, and then we’ll jump into your new one, Curbing Traffic. So Building the Cycling City city is kind of neatly divided in a way that takes different Dutch cities and pairs them with different North American cities. I think Rotterdam and New York City get paired at one point, and you do some other neat pairings like that. And the lesson is sort of there’s nothing inherently special about these Dutch cities. The lessons can be applied to other places where we often hear. This is in Amsterdam. The construct for that book was great, and I loved it, and it’s based on your travels there. This second book, Curbing Traffic, is a little different because the chapters are more thematic in that sense. I wonder if you could talk about the genesis of this second book and how you felt kind of going back in and exploring your time in the Netherlands, this time as residents?

Chris Bruntlett: The intention with Building the Cycling City was just to explain how it can be done virtually anywhere, to provide people, activists, politicians, whoever, transportation planners, with a literal blueprint to get started in their city, whether they’re a one percent cycling mode share, or 30 to 40 percent as they are elsewhere in the world. We didn’t want to write Building the Cycling City Two when we—and in fact, when we got here to the Netherlands, we wanted to focus on our careers. You know, we had no intention of writing a second book.

Chris Bruntlett: But then we got here, and despite relatively high expectations, you know, we traveled here as tourists. I think experiencing this country and these cities as residents is a whole other experience. And from day one, when our kids were rolling to school on their own bikes to us out on the street meeting our neighbors to the types of people we were seeing interacting in the city center and outside the shops and stuff, we felt compelled to document that. But for us, we wanted to make this a very personal, emotive project to explain to people what it’s like living in a city like this, what they have to benefit from making their city more like this, and what we’re currently losing as a society living in places that are entirely dominated by cars and dependent on cars just to participate in society. So yeah, this was always intended to be a very different approach and a very different project. And I hope we succeeded in what we originally set out to accomplish.

Doug: Well, I thought you succeeded. I mean, what I really liked about the book, it was just so personal, right? There is your necessary data and experts from around the world explaining the benefits of car-free cities, but you weave in your personal stories of what it’s like to be brand new there. There’s a story about, you know, leaving your keys in your apartment, there’s stories about your son breaking his arm, there’s stories about being parents, you know, and dealing with the challenges of uprooting your children and moving them to a country where you don’t speak the language. And along those lines, I want to talk about an early chapter in the book, “The Child-Friendly City.” You know, so much of our advocacy is focused on building bike lanes or building streets where people can commute from their home to a central business district. But you extol the virtues of a car-light or a car-free city from the perspective of parents and from the perspective of your children. What does it mean to make a truly child-friendly city?

Chris Bruntlett: Well, we open the chapter with this provocative question from Charles Montgomery, which I think can’t be repeated enough. You know, we as a society, we claim to care about the safety, well-being of our children, but we design places that put them in danger and rob them of this freedom and independence. And that’s never discussed when we’re talking about road diets or bike lanes or traffic calming. It’s always about the people in cars, the adults, the contributing members to society. Like, the only thing that matters is them getting to their job and then getting home again. And we’ve totally lost this idea that the city should be—the entire city should be a playground for children to learn, to experiment, to meet their friends, to take risks. Yeah, to fall and break their arm or their leg once in a while. But having removed that from the city almost altogether, we’ve now created this very sheltered bubble-wrap generation that’s very not capable of assessing risk, taking risks and being independent young adults. And I think, yeah, we’re starting to see the blowbacks to those urban planning and transportation planning decisions are now becoming real societal problems.

Melissa Bruntlett: We interviewed Dr. Leah Carson for that chapter, who is the professor at the University of Amsterdam and a researcher. And she talks about the city as archipelagos. But also Dr. Stephen Fleming mentions that, in terms of children experiencing the city as islands, where you have your home is one island, your school is another, your community center might be another, but all the space in between are basically vast oceans, which is largely the experience of the backseat generation, which is what Dr. Carson refers to where children grow up shuttled by their parents in the backseat of a car experiencing just that world within there. So they know their home is a place to be where they can be free and play, and they get in a car and that car transports them somehow some way to their next zone or their next island.

Melissa Bruntlett: And yes, we’ve created these environments where if they’re traveling around in that bubble all the time, they have no connection really to their community, to the spaces in between those islands. And when we start to allow them to discover the streets more, it becomes much more of a web of experience. It becomes much more of like a map with different ways to connect and different routes to get there, which, you know, helps prepare them really for navigating the world as adults.

Chris Bruntlett: But I think those islands are even more pronounced if you don’t have the luxury of an automobile. And this is what we experienced firsthand in Vancouver as a family that walked or cycled almost everywhere is the arterial roads just segmented the city into these archipelagos, and as a result, we had to escort our children from island to island by foot or bicycle because we were not comfortable letting them cross six or eight lanes of traffic whizzing by at 60 to 80 kilometers per hour.

Melissa Bruntlett: Chris actually went back and looked up the traffic counts in the neighborhood. So in the Vancouver context, we were surrounded by two six-lane roads and two four-lane roads, essentially. We had our own little archipelago. And it was 150,000 cars per day traveling within that little not even a kilometer radius of our home. And when he told me that it stuck because then you realize, you know, this is what my kids, when we were giving them a little more freedom, were contending with. And thank goodness nothing ever happened. Thank goodness we put the fear of cars into them very young. But nowadays, you know, it’s not that we’re not afraid that those same incidents couldn’t happen, but there’s only 1,500 cars traveling in and around our neighborhood now. So the volume is so much smaller that the possibility of an incident is significantly reduced, and therefore we are obviously a lot more comfortable to let them roam and experience the city on their own.

Doug: And it’s not just the volume, though, because you can have low traffic volume and super deadly streets, right? You have those places where your kids have to cross by themselves are designed so that should something happen, the consequences are pretty minimal, correct?

Chris Bruntlett: Exactly. And it comes back to this forgiving environment that we’re talking about that resulted in Etienne only having a broken arm instead of falling under a motor vehicle as he would in most places in the world, is there’s these additional buffers, refuges, islands, build-outs on the corners that provide physical protection almost his entire route to school. We’re talking two and a half kilometers door to door, he’s never crossing more than one or two lanes of traffic, and those cars are moving at 30, 40 kilometers an hour. So we have this peace of mind as parents that he’s gonna get home safely. And yeah, he’s still in an environment where he can mess up once in a while and just come away with a bloody knee or a broken arm. It’s not life threatening or life changing.

Doug: One of my favorite lines in the book that really stuck with me—and I’ve now brought it up a bunch of times in conversation—you wrote, “As Dutch planners have discovered over the years, the most important part of an effective walking and cycling plan is the car plan.” Can you explain sort of what do you mean by that? You talk about it in the context of a connected city, and I’d love to hear more about that.

Chris Bruntlett: So virtually every city in the Netherlands has specific hierarchies of streets. And it’s very simple: there’s basically two types of roads—local access roads, which are 30 kilometers an hour or less, distributor roads, which are 50 kilometers an hour. But all of the local access roads push the through traffic to the perimeter of the city, to the outskirts of the city, away from the sensitive residential areas and economic center, and then the distributor roads feed them to the motorways. So there’s no—it’s very indirect if you’re driving, and we use the example of getting to IKEA from our house on the west side of the city to the east. It’s a two-kilometer straight shot on bicycle. It’s nearly 14 kilometers by car.

Doug: Wow, yeah.

Chris Bruntlett: Taking the perimeter ring roads. And these are specific policy decisions that are made by the transport planners to make their cities more attractive, more comfortable, more livable, more safe, but also to nudge people to walking and cycling within the city by making it more direct and more convenient. So there’s this carrot and stick approach that I think other cities are very scared to implement. They love the carrot. The carrot’s easy, the carrot is just building some bike lanes and patting yourself on the back. The stick gets harder when we talk about congestion pricing or traffic circulation or car-free or low-car city centers. But they’re necessary to really achieve the things that we want to achieve in terms of building great places for us and our children to live.

Melissa Bruntlett: The great irony of this is oftentimes, you know, it sounds like—the way Chris is describing it, like it’s making things super inconvenient for people that are driving cars. And it is in terms of having to go greater distances to get to things that you could get to more quickly and easily by bike or by foot. But oftentimes to get to the further out places, so people driving to another city, it’s often easier because they’re not busy navigating through neighborhood streets to get there. They’ve got a direct route that is dedicated for them to get to the place that they need to go without having to worry about whether or not they’re going to have to come into interaction with a large group of pedestrians or a whole bunch of cyclists on the side of the road. It’s been engineered and designed in a way to really remove those obstacles out of their way to make it convenient for driving, but at the same time, removing the cars out of the way of people on foot and bikes. And everyone’s kind of winning in this situation, as opposed to pitting each other against each other.

Doug: And I think that’s a nice segue to the next chapter, which is “The Trusting City.” You write about the road network in Vancouver but, you know, more broadly to North America, that it was inadvertently shaped to pit each resident against one another. Is there something unique to Dutch culture? I can hear some of our listeners saying, “Oh well, that’s just the Dutch. They’re very low key, they’re very polite.” But it’s more than just a cultural thing.

Chris Bruntlett: Yeah, I think we were under the same impression that it was cultural until we spoke to Dr. Marco te Brömmelstroet, who really explained it in the most simplistic but brilliant way possible. He framed it as this prisoner’s dilemma. When you have a stop sign or a traffic light, you’re removing the prisoner’s dilemma from every junction and intersection, and there’s no incentive to cooperate with fellow road users because the highway code, the traffic lights and stop signs dictate exactly what you’re supposed to do in this situation, and there’s no nuance or interpretation or ability to cooperate with one another.

Chris Bruntlett: And so not at every intersection, obviously. But the speeds are low enough now, most Dutch cities are removing all of the road markings, all of the signage, all of the traffic lights, and just allowing users to figure it out. And I think it obviously takes time to develop what we describe as a learned language, if you will, through eye contact, through subtle cues, dropping of shoulders, hand signals. These are all things that you pick up over every interaction and then pass on to your fellow road users. And it just becomes this very organic network of users where we learn to trust each other, we learn to form consensus, and we can’t help but think. And Dr. te Brömmelstroet poses the same hypothesis: that it’s helping to form trust and levels of cooperation that maybe existed previously in Dutch culture, but it’s only reinforcing and making those phenomena stronger. So yeah, that’s kind of the short answer to that question.

Doug: I’m just surprised that the answer isn’t just lean on your horn and go honk and, you know, that’s it. That’s all you need to do to communicate what you want to do from behind a tinted window. And that doesn’t build a society that’s trusting of each other or cohesive in any way. It’s truly shocking. In America, we’re taught if you need to make a right turn or a left turn on your bike, you stick your hand out really far, you stick it up over your head. But I really did appreciate—I just remember all those subtle little cues that I love, like the person just slightly pointing down and to the left with maybe like wiggling their fingers. You know, those little tiny things that just—it’s like walking in a busy subway station. We don’t all bump into each other or crash into each other, even though there aren’t arrows on the ground telling us which way to go.

Melissa Bruntlett: Yeah, I think that’s actually a very perfect analogy of busy, crowded subways, or when you’re in a mall at Christmas time. We’re not all, like, bumping into each other, saying, “Oops, sorry! Oops, sorry!” We just see each other, acknowledge and shift, and we just all figure it out.

Doug: Melissa, I want to turn to you a little bit more about the feminist city. Part of the child-friendly city is what it does to parents as well—the time that it frees up for you, the way you can kind of change your work-life balance. Obviously, Chris, you know, speaking as another dad here, we’re doing our share, but we know that a lot of the burden of parenting still, even in egalitarian societies, falls on women. How has living there changed your experience of being a mom and of being a working mom?

Melissa Bruntlett: It’s interesting. I think it’s something that’s, as I say in the book, it’s something that sort of just dawns on you over a period of time of just falling into a routine and realizing, “Oh, I don’t need to think about this today. Someone else has got it covered.” Or, “My kids can manage this on their own.” So, you know, for the longest time in Vancouver, I mean, our kids are always in extracurricular activities, but it was always “Okay, I’ve got to get them to school, go to work, make sure I’m done work by this time to go and pick them up at this really inconvenient location and get them home safely,” all in the network that was provided for me, which was not necessarily connecting me to the places that I needed to go. So we lived on this really—just off of this really, really vibrant street. We had the fortune of getting our kids into activities on Commercial Drive or just off of, whether that was swimming lessons, dance, art. So really feeding into that community, but to access it by bicycle was not pleasant at all.

Melissa Bruntlett: It was a four-lane road with parking on either side that a lot of people use for arterials, so the bike lanes were all pushed, or the bike boulevards in this case were pushed off onto the side roads. And it made it very difficult for me to do all of those trips in a convenient way, but also in a comfortable way. And what I’ve noticed here is that making those trips now, everything is connected in this network of streets. So whether it’s your access roads, neighborhood streets that have been calmed to make it much more comfortable for traveling or ample cycle track networks that get me from one side of the city to the other comfortably and safely, and get me to the place I actually want to get to, almost right to the front door. It just frees up a lot of extra time, wasted time that I would have spent detouring and going in other directions.

Melissa Bruntlett: But as you said, you know, the kids are experiencing a lot more freedom, so I don’t actually have to do all those trips anymore. I mean, granted, they are older now but, like, that burden of having to worry about getting them to the places they need to go has been lifted, and frees up time for me to spend more time building my community and my network as a working mom, and it gives time for Chris and I to spend more time together. So for us, what used to be one of us running to the grocery store to pick up food at the end of the day or doing the big shop on the weekends, we now do that together. Yeah, just the lack of wasted time is something that I’ve really come to appreciate.

Doug: So let’s move on to accessibility and your chapter on the accessible city. And Melissa, you had some experience. We are three generally able-bodied people. We do not have a person with disabilities in this conversation. But I want to talk about it through two lenses: one, your own experience. I mean, maybe I should stay away from your family because two of the four of you have broken bones since you moved to the Netherlands.

Melissa Bruntlett: We’re fair game, it’s fine.

Doug: Yeah, exactly. You all lived to tell the tale, which is part of the point here. Talk about basically breaking your leg and not being able to ride a bike in the biking paradise that we all aspire to.

Melissa Bruntlett: Yeah. So it might not be a secret—they don’t get a lot of snow here in the Netherlands, they don’t get a lot of freezing any more. They used to, but climate change has made that a fewer and further between aspect of the city. Of course, the Canadian decided to get on a bike the one time it did freeze over over here, and to their credit, all of the cycle tracks were beautifully cleared and wonderful to cycle on. It wasn’t until I went on a road that I was not familiar with that my bike miraculously disappeared from underneath me. I fell over, and the bike reappeared on top of my leg, and I had broken my fibula. So one week in the cast and one surgery later, I found myself on crutches for about seven weeks. So only able to get around with one foot and two crutches for that time.

Melissa Bruntlett: And I will be the first to admit that, because I don’t have the upper body strength to move myself around on crutches with one foot, my radius was drastically reduced to basically my house. But we came up with a creative solution that used our network online and managed to get a cargo bike so Chris could cycle me around, and that’s how I experienced the city was from the bucket of a tricycle backseat. [laughs] I was still dependent on someone else, which is something that we get into in the accessibility chapter is that in some cases you have to be dependent, but the idea is that when we force people to be dependent on someone else, there is—like, I experienced it—you lose that sense of individuality. The flip side of that, the other aspect of it is we spoke to a woman we’ve gotten to know in the city called Maya who has multiple sclerosis, and has to get around the city in scootmobiels because walking is just too hard for longer distances. And she owns her mobility. The systems here allow her to be able to go wherever she wants, whether it’s in Delft or cities nearby, of her own volition and her own power—well, sort of. With a little bit of battery assistance.

Doug: Right.

Melissa Bruntlett: But, you know, there’s something really remarkable about that, of these networks that we call cycle tracks and bike lanes that are, for her they’re mobility lanes. they’re how she gets around.

Doug: Yeah, I think that description you use of mobility lanes is really lacking from a lot of the discourse about transportation, and certainly bike advocacy circles and planning departments here in the United States and in North America more generally. And Maya’s story, you can hear and see the happiness in the quotes that she gives you. And it’s a lovely story, and I hope people sort of zero in on that little piece of it in your book if they take nothing else away. It’s a really great part.

Doug: I want to double up on sort of two chapters that I think sort of really complement each other nicely, it’s “The Prosperous City” and “The Resilient City.” And Chris, there’s another anecdote about how, you know, you move to Delft because that was also the headquarters of the Dutch Cycling Union. And then, lo and behold, how many months later after you move, they moved headquarters to Utrecht, which is a not insignificant change, right?

Chris Bruntlett: It was one year to the day. It was on my one-year anniversary that we had moved offices 65 kilometers northeast of Delft.

Doug: I mean, I think in the United States, if you had a 65-kilometer, a 30-mile or so new commute, it might severely change your quality of life, and maybe even cause you to look for another job. But for you in Delft, it was just this sort of like slight change of habit. I think that does key into your next chapter, which is “The Resilient City,” that when things go wrong, that that resilient city is more flexible, more able to absorb individual changes and societal changes. How do you define a resilient city as you talk about it in the book?

Chris Bruntlett: Yeah. So this is another fascinating interview to conduct, and a woman we stumbled across from the University of Leeds, a Dr Judith Wang, who has written extensively on this topic. The traditional definition of “resilience” that we understand is basically the ability of a system to return to its original form as quickly and painlessly as possible. And she is actually a champion of a different type of resilience. It’s technically referred to as ecological resilience, which is actually the ability of a system to find a new normal instead of absorbing that shock and returning exactly to the way it was—to find a more stable balance. And while we were writing this chapter, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting the world, and we’re having this light bulb moment that this could be the start of a new normal for a lot of cities if they embrace this different type of resilience and try to find a new equilibrium, especially on their streets and in their mobility systems.

Chris Bruntlett: Because right now in most places of the world, people have one choice for mobility, and that is four seats and a steering wheel. And it’s the places that have built, not car-free systems, but a more balanced approach between the public transport, the car and the walking and cycling networks that are well-placed to absorb these shocks and these disruptions for a global pandemic, for heavy rainfall, heavy winds, heat or extreme weather conditions. So yeah, it became a very—it was a chapter we proposed before the pandemic hit that suddenly took on a very different shape as we were writing. And our hope now is yes, that resilience takes on a different meaning for a lot of cities around the world.

Doug: So there’s a different form of resilience, and that’s the resilience of the human lifespan and as we age, and this is an awkward transition, perhaps, to your final chapter, but it is—you know, Chris, in you talking about how that form of resilience where something changes, how does living in a place that’s car-light or car-free really change your way of thinking about aging?

Melissa Bruntlett: Yeah, I think it comes back to this thinking that we all have, regardless of where we live, is that we want to age with dignity, we want to age with grace, and not feel like we have to completely change where we are just because we’re getting old, you know? And also, you know, you’ve been here to The Netherlands, and people have seen the photos from here of people getting into their 70s and 80s and 90s continuing to cycle. You know, the low-car environment allows for them to be able to do that. Understanding that as we get older, our balance changes, our ability to stay upright might change, and it comes back to the same thing as Etienne: if they fall, the consequences of that fall will likely be far less severe than if they were to fall on a busy street in a big city. And so to have that low-car environment really enables mobility well into old age, well after the point that we’re allowed to drive as humans, because we all have to give it up at some point—we’re just physically unable to operate a motor vehicle. And it’s really something that we should be striving for when we talk about aging in place and the importance of that regardless of where people live. This is what we should be striving for is creating an environment where no matter what age you are, you have the ability to navigate, albeit smaller distances as far as your body will take you, but being able to do that independently for as long as possible is so important.

Chris Bruntlett: The statistic that says it all, really, is that the 65-to-75 demographic here in the Netherlands cycles more than any other adult age group. And so, you know, cycling isn’t just a young person’s game. And for old people, it’s more than just a means of transportation. For them, it’s a means of recreation, it’s a means of participation in society. And we’ve lost that. As you say, the idea that a retired person is gonna get on a bike in a North American city is still a pipe dream for a lot of places, unfortunately.

Doug: So in the conclusion of the book, you talk about a sort of light bulb moment that went off. I wonder if you could talk—to wrap things up for us, like, was there really just a moment where you sort of settled in and thought, “Okay. Like, we did it?” Has there been a moment where you just sort of, I don’t know, think about not even thinking about it anymore?

Melissa Bruntlett: Yeah. I mean, for me, there are moments when I have to remind myself. I think on the weekend there was a woman cycling past singing with her child in the backseat, and I’m like, “Oh, yeah. That’s why we moved here. I forgot about that!” because, you know, we’ve fallen into a routine and we’re comfortable and we’re happy. And every once in a while, I have to remind myself all of that work that we had been doing for the last over a decade now has been leading up to is the point when I can have these moments of just Not thinking about why it was that we came here in the first place.

Chris Bruntlett: But it’s—I mean, we had this conversation today. It may reach a point eventually where we just stop trying to change the world, stop trying to lobby cities and governments to copy the Netherlands, and just live our lives in blissful ignorance. I mean, right now we feel a sense of duty, a sense of responsibility to everyone that buys our books, to everyone that follows us on social media, because they helped us get to this point, and they need, I think, the inspiration and the positivity and the glimpse at how good cities can function. And B) because it’s certainly draining, isn’t it? I mean, working in advocacy and trying to push against the status quo is hard work, and I hope we provide a little bit of a beacon or a light. And we’ll see how long this lasts, because it is exhausting, and I don’t think we have another book in us, to be honest.

Doug: [laughs]

Melissa Bruntlett: I will say that when Chris said, you know, maybe we’ll just stop fighting, I laughed in his face.

Doug: Yeah, yeah.

Melissa Bruntlett: There’s always something. It’s just—yeah, it’s who we are. Whether it’s cycling or walking or public space or climate change or feminism, there’s always something to be fighting for. So as much as we might not have the energy for another book, I don’t see us ending this pulpit that we like to stand on every once in a while any time soon.

Doug: I was gonna say the pulpit that you’re standing on, I think I might have even said to you guys a long time ago after the first book came out and you had moved to the Netherlands after that, that your move to the Netherlands is probably one of the greatest things to happen to worldwide bicycle advocacy that I could think of. Because, you know, you talk about this in your first book that the Dutch are not—they don’t brag. They are pretty low key, very humble, and they don’t even really sometimes know that what they have is special, or at least historically didn’t. And so I think it’s lovely that you two have been able to kind of shine a light on what is special about the Netherlands, but also achievable about it in so many other places. So I hope you never give up the fight, but I hope you just keep enjoying it and keep sharing your sort of positive vision for what our cities can be: cleaner, more resilient, better for everybody. Chris and Melissa, the book is Curbing Traffic. It will be out on bookshelves. Thank you so much for coming on The War on Cars.

Melissa Bruntlett: Thanks so much for having us, Doug.

Chris Bruntlett: No, it was an absolute pleasure. Cheers!

Doug: That’s it for my conversation with Chris and Melissa Bruntlett. You can buy their books Curbing Traffic and Building the Cycling City at your local bookstore. You can also purchase them, along with titles by previous guests on the podcast, at our official War on Cars page at Bookshop.org. I’ll put a link in the show notes.

Doug: If you want to help us produce the podcast, go to TheWaronCars.org, click “Support Us” and become a Patreon supporter today. You’ll get access to exclusive bonus content, and we also have a brand new reward: War on Cars water bottles. Perfect for the bike. So check that out!

Doug: Thanks to our top Patreon supporters: Charley Gee of Human Powered Law in Portland, Oregon, the law office of Vaccaro and White in New York City, Drew Raines, Virginia Baker and James Doyle. And a big shout-out to our sponsor Rad Power Bikes. This episode was edited by Matt Cutler. Our logo is by Dani Finkel of Crucial D. Designs. I’m Doug Gordon, and on behalf of my co-hosts Aaron Naparstek and Sarah Goodyear, this is The War on Cars.