Amsterdam Edging Ahead of Copenhagen as Most Bike-Loving Euro-Capital?

Amsterdam Bikes photo

Both Copenhagen and Amsterdam can be proud of their impressive cycling statistics and ongoing investment in infrastructure. Copenhagen claims 36 percent of its commuters bike to work every morning. Amsterdam gives a slightly different and still impressive figure - 55 % of journeys to jobs less than 7.5 kilometers are done on two-wheeled, no emission vehicles, and 60 percent of inner city trips are bike trips. Now, according to the Dutch Bike Council, Amsterdammers have a new statistic to be proud of.People are using their bikes just a bit more than their cars, the figures from 2005-2007 show. Inhabitants of Amsterdam used their bikes .87 times per day during that time, while they used their cars .84 times a day. Amsterdam measured the traffic on its inner-city ring road, and found car trips falling nearly 15 percent since 1990, while bike trips during that same time period rose 36 percent, according to Fiets & Beraad (the Dutch Bike Council, quoted below).

...the bike is used most often, and the car least often. This can be attributed to restrictive parking practices enacted since the 1990's.

The Dutch appreciate both their cars, and their bicycles (both get approval ratings in the 80s) while they think less of public transport, according to a study from the Institute for Mobility Policy. The Dutch associate cars with independence, while they look to their bikes for reliability (i.e. low maintenance and always gets you there on time as cyclists encounter few traffic obstructions). The Dutch are also building more of their new roads according to the "Shared Space" philosophy in which cyclists, motorists, and pedestrians use the road without a strict demarcation of lanes or space.

The Danes, on the other hand, want to increase their bike commuters to 50 percent by 2015. According to Copenhagenize, a new Danish traffic plan launched January 29 promises that 2/3rds of a $16 billion budget will go towards bikes and public transport, while the other 1/3 will be dedicated to asphalt and roads. Via Dutch Bike Council and Copenhagenize
Photo of Amsterdam bikes via Aloxe @ flickr.

Read more on European cycling
Earth Policy Institute Updates Bicycle Stats for Bike Month
Dutch Cycling: Remember the Phone, Forget the Helmet
and on Planet Green
Make 2009 the Year of Green Travel
Copenhagen Cyclists Take Over Main City Thoroughfares

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