Too Much Of A Good Thing? Dutch Bike Lanes Clogged With Commuters


Environmental issues aside, we all know Americans are at the mercy of expensive gas prices and we all frankly need more exercise in general. When it comes to saving money and getting fit a bike is a relatively inexpensive alternative than a car. However, studying a place where bike riding is prevalent shows it’s own distinct set of problems.

Bikes seem like a simple solution to many of the environmental issues currently facing America. With global temperatures on the rise many cities are updating their road infrastructure with bike lanes partially in an attempt to curb greenhouse gas emissions. It’s certainly a noble endeavor in many other ways as well. But in The Netherlands the bike-to-person ratio is nearly synonymous. You’ll see roads crowded with bikes instead of cars.

t’s a daily necessity that ends up saving the country impressive amounts of money for their roads and public transportation system. Problem is, the Dutch currently just don’t have the infrastructure for the incredible number of bikes on their streets. There are not enough parking spaces, and the roads too narrow to accommodate the traffic despite an extensive bike-only infrastructure that includes dedicated “highways”. It’s leading to rampant injury and road rage.

Will a huge investment in updated roads fix all these issues? Hard to say, but if it works it could be the standard bearer for the rest of the world when it comes to green travel. Maybe it’s not something that could work on a large scale in a bigger nation, but at least our major cities could cut back their greenhouse gas emissions. Every little bit helps.

Source: Treehugger | Image: Umberto Brayj

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  • Doug B

    They probably just need to turn more streets into one way roads for cars and increase the width of the bike lanes. Making that final transition to car lanes on a bike road.

  • Arjen Haayman

    Please read this to put things in perspective

    • Christopher DeMorro

      @ Arjen

      An excellent follow-up, though I still think it is worth noting that bicycling does present its own unique set of issues.

  • Arjen Haayman

    Not quite as many issues as carring.

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  • being dutch myself I think I have say that this article is a wild exageration… “rampant injury and road rage”??? and perhaps I should point out that (evnthough we do have a substantial network of bicycle lanes away from motorized traffic) Denmark and the Netherlands are two different countries.