utrecht

City planners convene to discuss excess bicycle problem

The amount of bicycles is beginning to reach proportions previously never thought possible leading to an increasing number of pile-ups, traffic jams and other parking problems.

Tens of thousands of bicycles are believed to be parked at a number of popular parking spots, such as the central railway station, for weeks on end without any clue where the owner might be. On the contrary, many are confused where they had parked their bike in the first place and end up taking an alternative method to reach their destinations.

“Sometimes its a madhouse out there,” Jan van der Tuin, 59, a bicycle shed parking attendant just outside Utrecht’s busy central station said.

“There’s been no fist-fights, but harsh words are often being spoken,” he said with a sigh as he took a drag from his hand-rolled cigarette.

“We have big problems,” agreed Marleen van der Wurff, 58, as she frantically looked for a bicycle parking spot in Utrecht before having to run for a train.

“It’s plainly becoming a dangerous situation,” said Van der Wurff, who is solely reliant on her bicycle to get around the city.

Statistics continue to present that at least a quarter of all deadly accidents involve cyclists with around 200 casualties in 2011, an increase from 2012, with the majority being the elderly.

Since the broadening a number of bike paths around town to accommodate the cyclists, there is also the issue of fast moving mopeds who tend to overtake cyclists at the speed of 25 km/h.

“Cyclists and moped riders ride at different speeds in a small shared space, – and that’s a recipe for disaster,” said Wim Bot of the Dutch Cycling Association.

The problem has been recently discussed by some 180 personnel involved in city planning and solutions have already been proposed such as the creation of an mega-sized underground bicycle shed to impound badly-parked bikes.

“This is not something that will be solved next week. It’s a medium to long-term problem,” Bot said.

Source: Gulf News

Michael Darmanin

Michael Darmanin

Michael is founder and managing editor of UtrechtCentral.com. He graduated in Communications and Media at the Hogeschool Utrecht in 2012. He enjoys great music and good company.

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