21 thoughts on “The Dutch cycle longer distances

  1. Thank you for sharing this information. Very interesting.

    You mentioned that the increase in cycling injuries is due, in part, to bollards. Are people crashing into the bollards that planners like to stick in the middle of cycle paths to keep cars out?

    1. I have an idea for the Dutch road managers. How about using special cameras to photo and ticket cars who enter cycle paths? As for mopeds on same paths, you can use a similar design with the photos. That might get a few off the paths.

      The other things that usually are causing casualties and injuries are old road designs that have yet to be updated, or intersections that could become roundabouts or downgraded to access roads. Access roads could be designed to include raised intersections and more brick paved roads could help enforce the 30 km/h limit. Intersection improvements with grade separations, lower waiting times and waiting time indicators would help people not get tempted to run the red light, including pedestrians. Cycle lanes and mixed roads could get cycle paths, often in Zwolle for instance. Intersections not large enough to have separate turn stages and bicycle stages could get simultaneous green as a way to avoid the mixing conflicts.

  2. As you no doubt know, one of the reasons offered for why the Dutch (or Danish) experience could not be repeated in the UK is that the Netherlands is flat.

    So how would one explain the 11% modal share (5.5 times the UK figure) in Switzerland?

    1. Paul,

      First of all, not all of the UK is mountainous and secondly: it may be flat over here, but try cycling into a head-wind for an hour. With mountains there are moments you descend every once in a while, but the wind just keeps on blowing. And no matter what direction you ride, there’s always a head-wind. London was quite flat, last time I visited it, and I would have loved to cycle there, but I was not suicidal at the time and my host wouldn’t let me. Paris is doable, as most of the French seem to be getting used to us cyclists. I did an early morning tour a week ago, and it was great. Hardly any traffic and the few cyclists about even waved at each other.

      In short: people cycle because they feel safe enough to do so.

  3. The table shows the modal share of trips by bike comparing the Netherlands and Denmark, with the Netherlands being six points higher. What would a table comparing the two countries on kilometers cycled by bike show? Do Dutch cycle longer distances than Danes?

    1. I have seen reports somewhere that claimed the Danes cycled slightly further on average. But now that the Dutch cycle 13% longer than before it might have turned around again. It should also be noted that those modal share figures are for the countries as a whole. And there are regional differences in both countries. For Denmark there is a considerable difference between Copenhagen (high) and the rest of Denmark (low), whereas in the Netherlands the differences are there, but not that considerable.

  4. @Koen; that explanation for more accidents sounds familiar as the recent conclusion from the investigation by “Consument en Veiligheid” (consumer and safety). It was heaviliy critisized by the Cyclists’ Union because the underlying figures do not suport that conclusion. The conclusion should be that the number of accidents for children stayed the same. I only have a link in Dutch that can’t be read by Google translate, but I think you can read Dutch. (A copy and paste action of the text directly in Google translate is also possible if anyone else is interested.)

  5. A lot of these one-sided bicycle accidents are due to children texting on the bicycle or bicycle steers getting entangled, or both. But I must say we did have some winters with an abnormal amount of ice and snow. To check if that was the main cause, we would just have to look at the figures for pedestrians. If so,the would show the exact same rise in accidents.

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