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Sheer volume of cyclists causing congestion and crashes on Dutch bike lanes

Report says cycle paths need to be widened to cope with traffic

Congestion, crashes and a chronic lack of parking spaces – for Britain’s roads, substitute the Netherlands’ cycle lanes. It seems cycling has become so popular in the country that its infrastructure is struggling to cope.

Citylab reports on a recent report by the country’s SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research which has found that with bike paths filling to capacity during rush hour, crashes are becoming more common. Furthermore, many areas are woefully short of bike parking with Amsterdam now planning a 7,000-space bicycle garage under the IJ lake.

The SWOV says that the sheer numbers using bike paths means many can’t ride at the speed of their choice and argues that this is a major cause of the growing number of collisions that do not involve cars. Around 1,000 cyclists are hospitalised each year after collisions with other cyclists – although it should be noted that in Amsterdam alone, several hundred thousand trips are made by bike each day.

However, CCTV from four major junctions indicates that poor behaviour is a major cause. Footage showed 20 per cent of cyclists using their phones while riding — albeit most were just listening to music. Around 80 per cent pulled out of their lane to overtake without looking behind, while five per cent were seen riding in the wrong direction.

Currently, moped riders are allowed in cycle lanes providing they don’t exceed 15mph. The Independent reports that they now face being banned as the country looks to give its cyclists more space. SWOV director Peter van der Knaap said that busy cycle paths now need to be widened to cope with the volume of traffic and increasing popularity of cargo bikes.

Germany recently opened the first 5km stretch of a traffic-free bicycle highway that is set to span over 100km. A number of ‘bicycle autobahns’ are planned. They are four metres wide and are unsullied by traffic lights or crossroads.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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14 comments

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dougie_c | 8 years ago
2 likes

Maybe they should let cyclists use the roads?

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nowasps replied to dougie_c | 8 years ago
2 likes
dougie_c wrote:

Maybe they should let cyclists use the roads?

 

Better yet, make the cars squeeze down the bike lanes, and turn the roads over to the bikes.

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Skylark | 8 years ago
0 likes

The problem is the roads. They need to be opened up for congestion on a grander scale.

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Donnachadh McCarthy | 8 years ago
2 likes

Oh come on guys - why the Daily Mail like negative headline? 
Real story is "Bicycle lanes so popular government proposes to expand them".

Good news also to see the mopeds excluded IMO.

And surely "crash" is a bit dramatic, when the word does not differentiate between the consequences of two cyclists bumping into each other and a vehicle crashing into a pedestrian/cyclist/car?

How many killed or seriously injured our of the 1,000 hospital visits?

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Tony replied to Donnachadh McCarthy | 8 years ago
0 likes
Donnachadh McCarthy wrote:

Real story is "Bicycle lanes so popular government proposes to expand them".

Actually the real story is cycling is so popular.    Since many Dutch cycle tracks are mandatory, they don't really have a choice as to whether to use them or not.  So the cycle tracks are crowded because cycling is popular not necessarily because the tracks are popular.

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HarrogateSpa | 8 years ago
2 likes

HedgehogCycling was on to this a few days ago! One interesting aspect missed in the article above is that riding the wrong way on bike path is called 'Engels fietsen', or 'English riding'.

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Kadenz | 8 years ago
0 likes

A 1,000 hospitalisations of cyclists a year in Amersterdam alone? Perhaps they need to wear helmets, after all?

Just a joke...

 

 

 

 

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ofathens | 8 years ago
4 likes

Neither listening to music nor using your cellphone whilst cycling are an offense in Holland. The point is that they try to create a cycling environment where a 3 year old can cycle, who might also display 'poor behaviour' and not look perfectly all the time. So they are right to ban mopeds (nuisance) and widen bike paths.

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severs1966 | 8 years ago
1 like

Interesting that the article is used as a place to mention the German long-distance high-speed cycle path, despite this being something that the Netherlands has been doing for years and yet doesn't get mentioned in the article at all.

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Airzound | 8 years ago
0 likes

If only this was the case in the UK. The Dutch cycle network is to die for.

There are nobbers everywhere. Cycling has it's fair share just like peds and drivers. Don't ride and dial.

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flathunt | 8 years ago
5 likes

Nice to see Mr Van Gogh out and about again, it's been so long.

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kenyond | 8 years ago
11 likes

Would be great if this was the major problem with UK infrastructure

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Tony replied to kenyond | 8 years ago
1 like
kenyond wrote:

Would be great if this was the major problem with UK infrastructure

I think it will be as soon as they open the new segregated cycle "superhighways" in London.  They are between 3 and 3.8m wide for a bidirectional track which won't need many cyclists at all to clog it up completely.

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CXR94Di2 | 8 years ago
10 likes

I know it's a problem but what a nice problem to have, widening cycle routes to accommodate the demand of so many new cyclists  1

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