Amsterdam swamped by a “sea of bikes”

The New York Times is reporting how a “sea of bikes swamps” Amsterdam. It is a nice problem to have. […]

The New York Times is reporting how a “sea of bikes swamps” Amsterdam.

It is a nice problem to have. In a place where 32% of all trips are done by bicycle (compared to 22% of all trips by car), imagine the traffic jams if all the people would use cars instead of bicycles!

Many Amsterdamers say it is not so much the traffic jams like those at the morning ferry that annoy them most, but the problem of where to park their bikes once they get to where they’re going.

Over the next two decades, the city will invest $135 million to improve the biking infrastructure, including the creation of 38,000 bike parking racks “in the hot spots.” The city’s main train station is a focal point of the problem, and over the past decade Netherlands Railways has created more than 10,000 parking places for bikes. By 2020 the number is expected to be lifted to 17,000, in part because of the construction of a $27 million underground garage in front of the enormous red brick building.

Interestingly, in a city with 800’000 inhabitants, with a third of them cycling, the main advocacy organisation, the Fietsersbond, has only 4000 members.

Of concern is a recent proliferation of motor scooters, some of which are allowed to use bike paths, frequently causing accidents. While the noisy scooters account for only 3 percent of traffic, they are responsible for 16 percent of traffic accidents.

About Heinrich

Promoting everyday cycling