AMSTERDAM CYCLING – facts and figures

Bikes and Cafe Winkel's Dutch appeltaart. I'm looking forward to both.

Bikes and Cafe Winkel’s Dutch appeltaart. I’m looking forward to both.

Thanks to Mark Wagenbuur’s excellent blog about cycling infrastructure in the Netherlands, BICYCLE DUTCH, I’ve been able to gather some up-to-date statistics on the use of bikes in Amsterdam.

It makes encouraging and inspiring reading.

* Amsterdam’s population: 799,406 of 177 different nationalities
It will soon be 799,408 when Mevrouw T and I arrive back there.

* Amsterdam has an estimated 881,000 bicycles
We have five between us, not counting those we own in Australia.

* 85% of the residents in the centre own one or more bicycles
Yes, it’s nice to be part of a majority.

*In Amsterdam, the bicycle is the most popular means of transport. More than 60% of the movements within the A10 motorway ring road are by bicycle
We don’t have a car there. Who needs one?

* In the city centre 70% of all journeys are by bicycle.
It’s 20 minutes to Centraal Station from our place by bike, half of it a lovely ride through the Vondelpark. It’s easily the most pleasant way to get around.

* Since 1990, the use of bicycles within the A10 ring road has grown by 44%
Residents and business owners give a score of 8.3 (on a scale from 1 to 10) to accessibility of the city by bicycle.
We’d score it a 9 at least, though it helps to be confident and a bit pushy.

* There are more than 44,000 bicycle parking spaces in the city centre.
Still not enough in some parts of town.

* In 2012, 12,000 abandoned or broken bicycles were removed from the city centre. In addition, another 30,000 wrongly parked bicycles were removed from the Central Railway Station island and from the area around Leidseplein.
I’d like to know how many are retrieved from the canals each year too.

* 1 in 5 of the people of Amsterdam are annoyed by bicycle wrecks on the street.
The other 4 people must be photographers. An abandoned bike on a bridge, especially if it’s covered in snow, enhances any canal shot.

We’ll be back in the land of the bike very soon. I’m enjoying riding round Sydney, and well done those councils who are improving the infrastructure here. A lot of progress is being made, but the Dutch are still way ahead.


Filed under Cycling, Holland

17 responses to “AMSTERDAM CYCLING – facts and figures

  1. I do like blogs that are crammed with statistics. I will have to update my Amsterdam post with this updated information.
    The provision of cycle lanes in the UK is an embarrassment compared with the Netherlands.

    • You’re pretty good on statistics and dates yourself, Andrew!

      There’s often a case made that the Netherlands is an easy country in which to cycle because it’s flat. But it’s no flatter than much of the UK or Australia.

      And it has wind, cobblestones, old narrow streets, bridges over canals, ice and snow to contend with. Yet somehow they’re making it work.

    • I remember my time in Amsterdam well, I’ve never seen so many bicycles. As a cyclist here in the UK, I think major improvements can be made, but the mentality towards cyclist is getting better. The main issue is the state of the roads…

      • The mentality in Australia isn’t too bad either, Gary. I ride a lot and am very seldom a victim of ‘bike rage’. I have more trouble with the scooters in Amsterdam!

  2. We were amazed by the bicycles in Amsterdam. Have a ride/walk through lovely Vondel Park for me. I loved Amsterdam last year.

  3. We’ve got a long way to go before riding bikes becomes a common form of transport on the Gold Coast, I really must give it a try next time we’re in Amsterdam but I have to admit that I find it a little daunting. You must be really excited about returning, such a great city.

    • I look forward to the day when there’ll be a safe, comfortable long distance route/cycle path from Brisbane to Sydney, then on round the coast to Melbourne. It would be a superb ride and a great tourist attraction.

      Such a ride can be done now, though it’s not for the faint-hearted and not very pleasant to ride on a shoulder of the Princes Highway. Particularly down the Gold Coast, I imagine.

      • The Gold Coast struggles with public transport, let alone sorting out safe cycling routes although they have alot of areas close to the beach that are designated for riding bikes.

  4. Marcel Schoehuijs

    Ik begin zaterdag met de eerste reis van die jaar! Nice to be back.

  5. Pingback: the best city bicycle- part two | Cityhippyfarmgirl

  6. Being new to the biking scene in Sydney, this post is really interesting as a comparison. 70% of all city journeys being by bike…that’s amazing!

  7. I love the multi-storey bicycle parking in Amsterdam, but how can you ever find your bike again? I wonder how many bikes are ‘permanently’ parked there due to cyclists assuming that someone stole it!

    • There has been a sort of abandoned bike system introduced. If you leave your bike there too long it gets a sticker and then gets removed. My record of time spent looking for my parked bike is about 20 minutes…so far!

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