Bicycling in Amsterdam, two



era postwar prosperity
leisure majority destination
error prioritize progressively
spiral turmoil consequently
proud facilitate rise to the occasion
hostile stimulate enough is enough
viable diverse congestion
option integrate convenient
cater efficient contribute
thrive commute grassroots
aspect campaign peak hours
expand available account for
pillar private infrastructure
pedal profound municipality
vast enable elimination
share emission private sector
civil transfer sustainable
transit expertise accumulate
inspire resonate






The Netherlands. The postwar era.

The majority of Dutch people get to their destinations by bicycle: for work, school, shopping, leisure — and everything in between.

But things are rapidly changing.

The 1960s.

Prosperity is increasing. And car ownership is growing progressively.

More and more of the limited space is taken away from people on bicycles and motorized transportation is prioritized.

Consequently, more people get hurt or die in traffic than ever before, including people on bicycles.

The 1970s.

Oil prices … dollar crises … environmental crises … turmoil in the world and the Netherlands.

Car-centric policies result in congestion, a hostile-traffic environment and cycling is further put on the defense.

But Dutch citizens rise to the occasion, organize themselves and collectively and loudly say, “enough is enough!”

The grassroots campaign “Stop the Child Murder” starts a movement to stop this spiral, and resonates with the Dutch people and government.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

The Netherlands managed to make cycling an option again — turning things around for the better.

The Netherlands are the world’s most successful cycling nation.

Young or old, rich or poor, everyone cycles.

It’s part of everyday life because it was made part of everyday life as a viable transportation option.

The Dutch bicycle industry is diverse and thriving, and caters to all.

Cycling is completely integrated into the Dutch transport network, making it a seamless experience.

Bicycle parking is of great importance.

The ever growing number of people cycling has stimulated parking solutions that are convenient, efficient and of high quality.

These aspects are instrumental to increase cycle rates and meet the needs of everyday use.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

The most popular means of transportation is a combination of cycling and transit. Folding bikes travel for free, and regular bicycles can be taken around the country outside peak hours for a small fee.

The railway company and municipalities provide bicycle parking in close proximity to the train stations.

In 2008, another option was added to this mix: the Ovey Fits bike rental service.

Currently, it’s available in over 230 train stations around the country, which makes it both ideal for commuters and other transport users.

The Ovey Fits Bike rental services is extremely popular, and it has become the most successful bike share system in the world.

In 2010, Ovey Fits accounted for 85,000 subscribers, 5,000 rental bikes, and 850,000 bicycle trips.

The Netherlands have a vast and a completely connected bicycle network of 29,000 kilometers of separated bicycle paths, and 7,000 kilometers of on-road bike lanes, enabling the Dutch to go anywhere at anytime.

Bicycle specific infrastructure and integral special planning, form the pillars of an impressive cycle safety record.

Combined with pro-bicycle traffic laws, education and positive promotion, this record continues to improve.

It enables children to cycle and be cycled to school, and adults to pedal to work and to shops.

This generates a friendlier and more sustainable urban environment. Road design for people has become the norm and contributes to a healthier and happier nation.

Measures such as traffic calming and prioritizing road design for cycling and walking have had a profound effect on the safety of all users.

Cities embrace this and continue to improve and expand these measures.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

The cyclist union has been instrumental in enabling the Dutch onto their bikes and riding safely, and continues to do so.

Their work never stops. From local, regional and national advocacy and public outreach, to technical innovation.

From monitoring and assessing bicycle infrastructure, to influencing the political agenda, to promoting cycling positively, safeguarding what the Dutch have, and improving existing conditions.

Dutch know-how in sustainable and active urban transportation is progressively developed for research in Africa, Asia and Latin America through the cycling academic network.

This research aims to contribute the development goals regarding poverty elimination, emission reduction strategies, and sustainable spacial planning and design.

The research network includes 20 universities, ITC, and universities in India, Brazil, and South Africa, and is expanding worldwide.

The cycling academic network aims to further develop and transfer knowledge in corporation with local governments, civil society organizations, the private sector and knowledge institutes.

The Netherlands have accumulated cycling expertise of great interest to emerging and re-emerging cycling countries around the world.

Increased foreign demand has inspired the Netherlands to establish a new organization which can support, facilitate, contribute to and inspire international cycling projects and policies, helping countries, cities, and its people to move forward in a safe and healthy way.

Therefore, the Netherlands is proud to present The Dutch Cycling Embassy.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *


Bicycle, Bike, Tricycle, Unicycle. The way the Dutch commute has remained the same over the decades. Is this right or wrong? If yes, how has it changed?

Moped, Scooter.
Was the turning point in transportation in the Netherlands 2000? What happened during this time?

Only children, young and poor people ride bicycles in the Netherlands. Is this correct or incorrect? Is bicycling only a hobby or sport, is it an integral part of modern Dutch culture?

Car, Automobile.
Are bicycles integrated with the railway? How is it integrated?

Do people have to own their own bikes? What happens if someone does not have a bicycle?

Do cyclists and cars share the same road, or are there separate bike lanes for cyclists? Are there bicycle-friendly laws? Do cars have right-of-way or priority on the road?

Bus, City Bus, Intercity Bus.
The Dutch Cyclist Union is very involved and proactive. Is this correct or incorrect? If yes, what does it do? Do cyclists, politicians, engineers, urban designers, schools and civic groups all work together?

Tram, Tramway, Subway.
Are other nations learning from the Dutch? Is the Netherlands “exporting” cycling expertise and culture?

Train, Railway, Rail Line. What are the advantages or benefits of cycling?
Airplane. I own and ride a bicycle. Yes or no? What has been your and your friends’, coworkers’ or classmates’ experiences with bicycles?

Canoe, Kayak, Raft. Is cycling popular in your city, region or country? Are there towns or regions where cycling is popular? Has there been a change over time?

Boat, Yacht. Where I live, cars are a status symbol: if a person drives a luxury or sports car, he is considered successful, prosperous and a winner. Everyone respects and admires him, and all the girls love him.

On the other hand, people without cars are regarded as failures, losers and nobodies. No one will be their friend, and no one wants to marry them. Is this entirely true, mostly true, in the middle, yes-and-no, partially true, mostly untrue, completely false or it depends?

Ship. Would you like your city or nation to be like the Netherlands?

Rocket, Rocket Ship, Space Ship. Is the Dutch model the way of the future? What will happen in the future?

Space Station. Should people and governments do anything?

Comments are closed.