Amsterdam accelerating development of new cycling facilities

The municipality of Amsterdam has decided to accelerate the introduction of additional measures to assist cyclists in the capital.

With overcrowding on bike lanes and in parking spaces near train stations, the situation in Amsterdam has become more serious. Collectively, people living in the Dutch capital cycle around 2 million kilometres per day.

"Amsterdam benefits from more people using bikes and has a pressing need to create additional space for cyclists," said Traffic Alderman Maarten van Poelgeest.

Measures to improve cycling conditions

These improvement measures include the introduction of "green waves", where traffic lights are co-ordinated and adjusted to the average speed of road users, in this case cyclists, to improve traffic flow.

Also, the municipality will provide cyclists with extra space at crossings and appoint an official responsible for the removal of disused bicycles.

One change that the municipality would like to make is to ban scooters from cycle paths, an idea it outlined jointly with other Dutch cities in a letter a few months ago. However, the Dutch government has ruled that out.

Long-Term Cycle Plan

The new developments are additions to the Meerjarenplan Fiets (Long-term Cycle Plan) that provides for 40.000 more bicycle parking spaces and 15 kilometres of new cycle lanes in the city.

This plan, due to be completed in 2016, includes underground storage facilities designed to improve bicycle parking issues at Amsterdam Central Station, around Leidseplein and along the Rode Loper areas of the city (i.e. along the route of the new Noord-Zuid metro line).

Also, there will be a new bicycle storage facility under the Mahlerplein near Station Zuid with space for 3.000 bikes, while 800 new parking spaces made available near other railway stations in the city.

Researching new ideas

The municipality is also researching other measures that could prove effective in solving some of Amsterdam’s more serious bike issues, such as a large-scale drive to remove disused bikes from cycle racks.

Other ideas include extending having a maximum permitted parking time at some spaces (already the case in some places in the city), additional temporary parking facilities near Central Station and pop-up bicycle storage locations that can be set up where and when required.

Investing in cycling

Along with Prorail and Stadsregio Amsterdam, the City of Amsterdam will invest nearly 120 million euros until 2020 to tackle major issues related to bicycle parking and the cycle network in the city.

Explaining the reasoning behind this investment, Alderman van Poelgeest said, "Cycling is cheap, fast and clean, while it also helps improve accessibility in the city. In addition, the increased bicycle usage in the city equates to annual savings for Amsterdam of 20 million euros on public transport and another 20 million euros on car infrastructure."

Source: Municipality of Amsterdam

Alexandra Gowling


Alexandra Gowling

Alexandra is an Australian citizen and an experienced expat, having spent (quite a bit of) time in Asia before coming to the Netherlands a year ago. She enjoys writing, reading...

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