One thing we have learnt this week – Dutch build multistory bike park

DSC_2346Dutch build multistory bike park in Utrecht.  You’ve heard of multistory car parks, indeed most of us have used them.  The Dutch have gone one stage further and built one for bikes.  12,500 of them and not just ordinary bikes but also the cargo bikes that are so popular there.  The Dutch railway service is building the multistory bike park.

The reason is future proofing and a big national drive to improve cycling infrastructure.  Cycling use already historically high is exploding in the Netherlands where 25% of all trips to work are made by bike.  However 60% of all journeys are made by car though and the aim is to cut this.

On my two trips to the Netherlands I was very impressed by the cycling infrastructure.  There is such a strong cycling culture.  Unlike here you’d see an entire school worth of pupils cycling rather than just the odd brave soul.  Young and old all cycle and bikes are for hire everywhere.

Of course the country is very flat, the weathers pretty good.   But there is another factor in the Dutch success.  The segregated cycle lane.  The Dutch have had these since the 1880’s.  There is clearly more to it than segregation though.  Stevenage built a network of Dutch style cycling lanes and cycling hasn’t taken off there.  Livingston also has a comprehensive network too and I saw little evidence the few times I’ve been there.  There’s something else going on.  So much so that the Dutch have decided to add cycling to its  inventory of intangible heritage.

 

Neil

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