Dutch bicycle congestion

The Dutch are facing the consequences of their own cycling success, including congestion, lack of parking and infrastructure.

In a country where bicycles outnumber people by 1.2 million, the Dutch have simply run out of space to accommodate the 5 million cyclists who take to the road every day.  In Amsterdam alone, 490,000 cyclists travel a staggering 2 million kilometres every day, according to statistics released by the city council this week and published on China Daily.com.

There are currently around 18 million bicycles and around 35,000 kilometres of bike paths in the Netherlands. The red tarmac lanes are purpose built, regularly maintained and come with their own set of road signs and traffic lights.

However, the popularity of cycling comes with its own problems, with the busiest cycle paths now inadequate for the growing stream of cyclists. There are increased instances of bicycle traffic jams, pileups, parking problems and bicycle rage. Around major stations such as Amsterdam and Utrecht Central, tens of thousands of bicycles are often illegally parked, encroaching on public space and restricting pedestrian access.

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