Bicycle infrastructure in the Netherlands - how does it work?

    Hi, Habr.

    In recent years, different cities of Russia have begun to pay more attention to bicycle infrastructure. The process, of course, is slow and slightly “creaking” - cars are parked on bicycle lanes, often bicycle lanes do not withstand the winter with salt and are worn out, and it is not physically possible to place these bicycle lanes everywhere. In general, there are problems, but I am glad that they are at least somehow trying to solve them.

    Let's see how bicycle infrastructure works in Holland - a country with a long history of cycling, where the number of bicycles is more than the number of inhabitants.

    Bicycle in the Netherlands is not only a vehicle, but also part of the national culture

    Bike paths

    Bicycle paths in the Netherlands are everywhere, and this is not a literary exaggeration. From almost anywhere in the country you can get to any other without getting off your bike. The tracks are highlighted in a different color, so it is difficult to mix them up, and walking along them as a pedestrian is, of course, not recommended. Yes, and it does not work, cycle traffic is often quite lively.

    If possible, bike paths are physically separated from the sidewalk, although this does not happen everywhere, and depends on the width of the street.

    Of course, they are not always so empty, at rush hour it is more likely this:


    By the way, even special models of GPS receivers (for example Garmin Edge) with stitched bike paths that route along them are sold.

    The bike paths themselves, in most cases, are separated not only from the sidewalk, but also from the carriageway, and are generally very safe - there are clear markings, signs, individual traffic lights, each bike path is often duplicated on both sides of the road, so you can’t physically go into the oncoming . Therefore, the majority of the Dutch do not wear helmets, and cycling is practically an exception - falling from a great one is certainly possible, but it is difficult to seriously suffer.

    By the way, why in the Netherlands there are more bicycles than residents - the answer is simple. Many use 2 great, on one they go from home to the subway, and leave it near the station, on the second they go from the terminal station to work. And some may have an old rusty bike, which is not a pity to leave on the street, and another good house, for sports or longer weekend trips. By the way, with an average price of a tram or bus of 2 EUR per trip, the old used one is great for 100-200 EUR will fully pay off for the season, even if you just throw it away later (although the Dutch seem to be almost never thrown away - I use such antique models in other places I haven’t seen anywhere for a long time).


    Of course, for people to use bicycles, it must be convenient. And the government is investing heavily in this. Almost every station or stop has bike parking - their size can range from a simple frame to a covered canopy, or even underground parking for thousands of bicycles. Moreover, often all this is free.

    Parking can vary in size, from these:

    And to these:


    Underground huge bike parking is being built, a couple of pictures to understand the scale of construction and money invested:

    (source - youtube video )

    For example, such an underground bike parking was recently opened in the historic center of Amsterdam, in 500m from Dam Square and Madame Tussauds:


    Of course, in almost every office center there is not only a bicycle parking, but also a shower for employees.

    But still, there is not enough parking at all, and most of them are too broke to go, so the bike is just left on the street and fastened to anything. In principle, any tree or pillar is also a good bike parking (if there is no rain, but this does not bother the owners - in this case, just put a bag on the saddle).

    Another important point - with a bike you can take the subway or train (outside rush hour, and the number is limited to a few pieces per wagon). Wagons where you can go with a great one are marked with a special sign:

    (Source: )


    Great in Holland can be divided into several different species.

    Antique trash

    This is great 20-50 years ago, creaky and rusty, which is not a pity to leave on the street and not a pity if soprut.

    A bike for transporting children
    I do not know what it is called officially, but it is probably clear from the picture. A fairly expensive bike (the price can be up to 3000 Euro for electric models), designed to carry children.

    On such a bike, mom or dad can bring children to school or kindergarten, then go on to work further.

    There are even special mega-bikes that immediately accommodate a small group of kindergarten:


    All sorts of exotic models also come across, for example, such a “lying” bike is called ligfiets, the German name liegerad is more popular in the world (liegen is to lie).


    Maybe it’s better in terms of aerodynamics, but here you can’t see its nefig on the road - no one in life will guess that something else can go at high speeds below.

    bicycles Electric bicycles have a constructive speed limit of 25 km / h, and are fully automatic - it is worth starting to pedal, as the electric motor “picks up”. The cruising range is up to 40km, which is quite convenient, although of course such a bike is heavier and more expensive than usual.

    More powerful models have speeds up to 40km / h and it seems like they require a number and a helmet, but here I am not sure about it.

    Folding bikes
    Such a bike folds 2 times, and most conveniently, it can be transported without restrictions in the subway or train.

    When folded, such a bike takes up really little space:

    Source of

    Motokoles and other exotic
    If I am not mistaken, so far they are outside the legal field and are not legally permitted. Motorbikes, however, are really exotic here, and they are very, very rare (although they are in the price lists). Scooters are also very rare.


    As you can see, if you want both people and government, you can do a lot. Of course, the climate also affects here (the average winter temperature in the Netherlands is + 3-5, and snow happens 1 week a year). But even in the Russian climate, if there is a good network of bike paths, I’m sure many would transfer to bicycles for at least 5-6 months a year. And this investment is also in the environment, in the fight against global warming, and so on and so forth. One can be indifferent to bicycles, but one cannot but admit that every person who has mounted a bicycle is a reduction in CO2 emissions and cleaner air for those around him.

    PS: This picture is not Holland at all, but Petersburg:

    Source The

    Dutch experience is being adopted (it seems that experts were invited for consultations), and it pleases.

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