Amsterdam has bike traffic jams! Is there such a thing as too many bikes?

Amsterdam bikes
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Amsterdam has more bikes than people, 4x more than cars!

Amsterdam is widely considered one of the top - if not the #1 - cyclist city in the world. There are about 880,000 bicycles in a city of 800,000 people (though it's frequent for people to have more than one bike, f.ex. a cargo bike to carry heavy things and a commuting bike for everyday rides), and 32% of all trips are make on bikes while only 22% are done in cars. But now the city is running into the high quality problem of having bike traffic james and a scarcity of bike parking spots... Is there such a thing as too many bikes?

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I don't think so. You can never have too many bikes...

The real problem seems to be that infrastructure hasn't kept up with the growth in cycling. Biking wasn't always this popular in Amsterdam. Just since the early 1990s, the cycling's popularity has grown by 40%. It's no surprise that it puts a huge strain on infrastructure, even if a lot of it has been built since then. The solution is now fewer bikes, but even more bike garages (build them underground if need be), bike racks, bike lanes, etc!

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The city seems to understand that quite well:

Mr. Smit’s problem is largely what keeps Thomas Koorn, of Amsterdam’s Transport and Traffic Department, awake at night. “We have a real parking issue,” he said in a conference room overlooking the IJ. Over the next two decades, Mr. Koorn said, the city will invest $135 million to improve the biking infrastructure, including the creation of 38,000 bike parking racks “in the hot spots.” (source)

Can you imagine what a proportionally scaled up investment into biking infrastructure would do to a city like New York? NYC is over 10x bigger than Amsterdam, so that would be an extra $1.35 billion invested into cycling!

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Via NYT

See also: Bike tricks from 100 years ago (Now THAT is old-school!)

Tags: Amsterdam | Bike-Friendly World | Bikes

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