Marc van Woudenberg of Amsterdamize
in Why the Streets of Copenhagen and Amsterdam Look So Different From Ours. atlanticcities, 25.04.12.
Each day, the people of Amsterdam ride more than a million miles on their bicycles. They boast 250 miles of separated bike paths and 250,000 designated bike parking spaces. As bicycling has increased, car ownership has decreased. Today, only 37 percent of the population owns cars, a decrease from 42 percent in 1985. And, transit makes up about 25 percent of trips.
The real-life impacts of these statistics can be seen every day on the charming streets, where parents still allow kids to walk or bike home from school and the elderly pedal around confidently on errands. No doubt, the streets are just as bustling and serve just as many people moving around the city as in San Francisco — it is all just happening in a calmer, quieter, less disruptive way in Amsterdam.
A population of just 16.7 million souls, owning close to 20 million bicycles. Virtually every Dutch person cycles, to a greater or lesser extent, be they young or old, rich or poor.
A few samples: 27% of all movements in the Netherlands are by bicycle. 80% of all Dutch cycle at least once a week. The average age for a child to cycle to school (or otherwise) independently is 8 years (which has the Dutch worried, as that used to be 6 years). On average, the Dutch make 14 million cycle trips a day, each covering 3,5 km on average. Per year, the Dutch travel well over 200 billion km by bike and the average distance pedaled per person is still rising. During rush hour, there are more people going from a to b (for all purposes) by bicycle than by car. Since 2007 the number of bike trips in Amsterdam is greater than the number of car trips. Amsterdam has a bike modal share of 60% in the downtown area, 38% in the greater city. The city of Groningen (the actual Cycle Capital of the Netherlands) has a modal split of over 60%. 40% of Dutch train commuters get to the station by bicycle. Train stations have a total of 200.000 bike parking racks. This is far from enough, as current and rising demand (over 10% each year) actually require a minimum of 400.000 racks.
a family cycle train. photo by amsterdamized.
read more: Bicycle Cultures Are Man-Made. amsterdamize, 21.11.11.