Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Dutch move into fast lane with 'bicycle highways'

31/08/2009 Radio Netherlands / Expatica
The Netherlands plans to invest EUR 25 million to build more bicycle highways and increase bicycle usage among commuters, announced the ministry of traffic and waterways Monday.

The plan is part of a government initiative to promote bicycle use, especially among those who commute to work everyday by car.

“Cycling is a practical, healthy and good for the environment,” deputy transport minister Tineke Huizinga wrote in a letter to the lower house of parliament.

Bicycle highways are broad cycling paths without intersections which allow cyclists to quickly cover long distances. The ministry plans to double the number of such highways in the Netherlands over the cabinet period.

At present, the Netherlands has five bicycle highways, including two connecting Amsterdam with Utrecht and Breda with Etten-Leur. There are currently plans for a bicycle highway connecting The Hague with Leiden and Arnhem with Nijmegen.

Municipalities and provinces are invited to submit plans to the ministry for more bicycle highways in their region.

In addition to bicycle highways, the government has planned other measures to increase cycle use.

By 2013, the ministry hopes 100,000 additional bicycle parking places will be added around train, tram and bus stations. At least 20 municipalities will co-operate with the ministry in removing discarded bicycles from bicycle stalls, which will free up existing spaces.

The various measures and projects are in close collaboration with established players in the cycling field including bicycle industry representatives and civil societies, said the traffic ministry in a press release.

No comments: