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go dutch

its all about bikes #delft #dutch #fiets

For work I am travelling to Delft quite often. I travel by train via Rotterdam. Because of the constructions in Delft there is a big walking bridge to pass rail tracks. There I always see the bicycle park area. Actually this is only part of the parking. Yesterday I decided to capture it.

It’s all about bikes. It certainly improves city traffic if you use a bike. Firstly, it occupies a very small space on the scarce road network and especially when you consider parking. With a bike you can always commute door-to-door transport. Think about a foldable bike your travel will be 100% finalized on your door, even if its your bedroom :) Secondly, there is no external costs associated with biking. It’s sustainable just like walking, no emissions, no noise, nothing. So, thirdly it is healthy to make some exercise every day instead of staying stressed in your car.

The Netherlands is synonymous with biking. Let’s have a look at some statistics:

  • People: 16,652,800
  • Bicycles: 16,500,000
  • Cyclists: ~99.1%

In the Netherlands 27% of all trips and 25% of trips to work are made by bike. The average distance cycled per person per day is 2.5 km. Holland and bicycles go together like bread and jam. Despite the recession the cycle-happy Dutch are still spending a lot of money on their bicycles – nearly 1 billion euros’ worth a year. About 1.3 million bicycles were sold in the Netherlands in 2009, at an average price of 713 euros ($1,008) each. Amsterdam (the capital and largest city of the Netherlands) is one of the most bicycle-friendly large cities in the world. It has 400 km of bike lanes and nearly 40% of all commutes in Amsterdam are done on bike. Strangely, most cyclists don’t wear helmets. And bike theft is a big problem, with about one of five (20%) bicycles being stolen each year (Top 10 Hell)

I think all policy makers should support biking. Just like every Dutch child, children should receive their first bicycle around their fourth birthday and what is more important learn to use it. The Dutch approach for bicycle policy is very effective. They try to:

  • increase the accessibility of companies and facitilites
  • improve the quality of the living environment
  • increase the social safety and traffic safety
  • increase the development opportunities
  • reduce the number of bicycle thefts

For each city a different type of budget was formulated. Overall state subsidies were also provided so for example in Amsterdam 26.95 Euros per inhabitant per year was spent between 2006-2010. On average  10 Euros per inhabitant per year is observed for most of the cities.

Best practice can be found in Groningen where a consistent bicycle policy coupled with a spatial planning. As a result, most traveling distances are covered by bicycles. 78% of the inhabitants living around a 3 km range and 90% of all job located within 5 km range.

Biking can be easily for school (elementary, high-school and university) but also for work and shopping. With good infrastructure and branding, a city can easily attract tourists for biking. Here geography of cities also play an important role. Finally intermodality can be achieved through combining cycling with public transport.

There are many bike related posts in my blog, you can browse them with the following tag: http://kaldirimlar.com/tag/bike/

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