How Amsterdam Got Its Cycle Paths

Fascinating video below about how Holland became one of the top countries for cycle use in the world (and also the safest).

The interesting thing is that in the post war period

  • the Netherlands experienced many changes other countries did
  • rise in wealth – increased numbers of cars
  • City centres became clogged with traffic
  • New Developments promoted heavy car use.
  • Limited cycle facilities neglected or removed
  • Cycle use rapidly fell as the motorist gained the upper hand and cycling became more dangerous.

This change sounds very familiar to other countries like US and UK (cycle rates by country)

The difference is that, in the 1970s, in many Dutch cities there was a concerted effort to build proper integrated cycle paths and limit car use in city centres.


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5 Responses to How Amsterdam Got Its Cycle Paths

  1. Jeremy Wilkinson November 24, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

    I agree with all the previous posts. Some wally will say:” Well, Holland is flat and the UK isn’t, and the terrain therefore lends itself to cycling”. We do need to lobby harder. Experience shows us that: he who shouts loudest, gets heard. Our country is so flipping backward about so many issues, and so arrogant to think it can intervene in other countries issues. I have cycled in Holland and it is brilliant!

  2. David Smith November 18, 2011 at 9:56 am #

    We really need a cycling infrasructure in many of our towns and cities. If cycling is to be taken seriously as a viable means of transport (and it is), the powers that be should be more proactive in promoting cycling and its many benefits and invest more into effective cycle paths and routes. If the Government wants the nation to get fit & healthy, this is one sure way of encouraging people to achieve this.

  3. Boris November 11, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    Great video. Would love to see occur in UK.

  4. Hurumph November 8, 2011 at 1:49 am #

    Every politician in Britain should be made to watch this video; are Dutch children and the Dutch environment more important than British children and the British environment?

  5. Tom Randall November 6, 2011 at 10:21 pm #

    Its very interesting, but also depressing that we are so far away from the dutch or danish ideal cycling environment in the UK. We really need some forward thinking politicians first, then engineers, planners etc.

    The motto should be “build it right and they will come”!

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