The Dutch may actually have TOO MANY bikes

 Here is a link to the full article on grist…

13 Nov 2012 12:00 PM

Grist.orgGrist List: Look what we found.Grist List: Look what we found.

The Dutch may actually have TOO MANY bikes

By Sarah Laskow

We write a lot about the Dutch and their bicycles, because they’re the best at it. Amsterdam alone has 490,000 cycling commuters. There are more bikes in the Netherlands than people. But with that many cyclists using the roads regularly, the country’s running into some problems. Treehugger writes:

In a country with a sprawling 20,000 mile network of world-class bike lanes and daily ridership of numbering in the millions, it’s fair to say the Dutch are the biggest cycle-lovers around. But with an average of 1.3 bicycles per resident, things have gotten crowded — resulting in bike parking shortages, cycling traffic jams, and even fits of lane-rage.

These are good problems to have, but they’re still problems. The real issue isn’t that the Dutch have too many bikes, period, but that the number of cyclists the country has created has outstripped the capacity of its infrastructure. They need more bike lanes and better bike parking systems to balance out the number of bikes on the road. Still, if the U.S. had this problem, Grist would throw a party, conclude we’d won, and never write about bikes again.

Sarah Laskow is a reporter based in New York City who covers environment, energy, and sustainability issues, among other things. Follow her on Twitter.

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