May 24, 2021

Two-wheelers versus Two-footers in Amsterdam

 As micromobility and electrification literally pick up speed, this bikes-versus-pedestrian scenario will get played out here too.

From The Guardian:

 

Where once the cyclist was king, free to weave around the small roads of the centrum with abandon, it is claimed there has been a discernible change of attitude. At best cyclists are being treated as “guests” in the heart of the city, at worst as intruders to be expelled to outer lanes, it is suggested. …

A number of unfortunate developments are raised as evidence that the humble pedestrian, and their allies in the catering industry, have got the upper hand.

Over 2019 and 2020, a trial was launched by the municipality to see if it could encourage cyclists to take “alternative routes” rather than travel directly on the Damstraatjes and Haarlemmerstraat, two central areas.

The “stress” caused by overcrowding and fast-moving bikes was said to have moved local residents and entrepreneurs to demand action. “The cyclist’s behaviour is the most important point in this issue,” a report on the experiment noted.

Signs for “comfortable cycling” routes were erected to see if the cyclists could be encouraged to go on routes around the centre – but to no avail. They were largely ignored.

Now, however, the cyclists’ union believes a more underhand approach is being taken to squeeze the two-wheeler out in favour of the two-footer. “It is not a policy but it is happening,” said Nepveu.

There are concerns that in seeking to move mopeds out of the city centre by pedestrianising areas, cyclists are being caught up as collateral damage. …

A spokesperson for the municipality denied cyclists were being pushed out. “The sign ‘bicycles as guests’ is used in places where cyclists and pedestrians have to share the limited space available or in places where the city wants to discourage the use of mopeds, for example in parks,” he said. “There are no plans to ban bicycles in these areas. …

The spokesperson added that a bicycle “highway” that forms a ring through the city was near completion.

“Amsterdam is constantly looking for ways to make cycling in the city easier, quicker and safer,” he said. “Also, the number of parking facilities for bikes is big and growing constantly. Next month a parking garage for bikes is being opened at Leidseplein, one of the city’s big squares, that can hold up to 2,000 bikes. A garage for 7,000 bikes is being built at Centraal station.”

 

Full article here.

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  1. CoV staff prioritizes Bikes over Pedestrians and Transit. It does not make sense as there are more pedestrians and transit riders than cyclists

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