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Netherlands – More People on Bicycles

The Dutch government has planned to invest extra €245 million on bicycle infrastructure. This is extra amount more than the €100 million which was pledged last year by the State Infrastructure Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven. Her aim on investing this much was to improve the city-to-city cycleways and the bicycle parking facilities. The secretary also aims at getting an additional two hundred thousand Dutch citizens on cycle.

The central government would be providing 40% of the amount for the project and the rest of the money comes from the state governments.

Cycling facilities will be improved in the Netherlands. The latest innovation by the government is the snelfietsroute, a freeway for the cyclists. Since 2015, four hundred miles of the freeways have been built with more in the pipeline. These freeways can be considered as fast cycling routes. The freeways connect cities that are separated by a distance of ten miles. The cyclists would be given more priority at the junction than the motorists.

Snelfietsroute ambassador and the Drenthe regional deputy, Henk Brink said that they would like to make the existing cycleways more attractive than before, more wider and faster and help the people in choosing bikes instead of cars.

The new plan comes with the addition of 25,000 bike parking places that will include Heerlen Station, Rotterdam Central and Amsterdam’s Central Station. The Netherlands is a country with 17 million people and 23 million cycles owned by them.

Veldhoven says that “The Dutch cycle a lot but, nevertheless, more than half of the car journeys we make are shorter than 7.5 kilometres.”

The simple idea is that if everyone will prefer the cycle on the roads, it will result in a huge difference and also reduce the traffic jams caused by vehicles.

The Netherlands has been world’s leading cycling nation from the early 1900s. The very first cycleway here was converted from a sidewalk.

The Dutch road engineers are now working on a five-point formula which includes coherence, directness, safety, comfort and attractiveness.

This takes care of better connectivity between origins and destinations, minimum delays, less traffic jams and less accidents, lesser application of human energy and comfortable manoeuvring.

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