14 September 2023, by Emily Proctor

The Cyclists’ Union (Fietsersbond) has expressed its concerns about safety on cycle paths as bike lanes get busier. The organisation said bike lanes in Amsterdam are particularly unsafe and is most concerned about the safety of students who frequently use the bike lanes to go to university during rush hour. 

E-bikes make cycle lanes less safe, says Cyclists’ Union

According to the Cyclists’ Union, one of the main issues on bike lanes across the Netherlands is the large variation in the speed of cyclists. Normal bikes are not able to move as quickly as e-bikes, which can leave some cyclists feeling intimidated or unsafe. “40 percent of Amsterdam residents do not feel safe in traffic,” Florrie de Pater of Cyclists’ Union Amsterdam told AT5. “[That statistic is] about cyclists and I think that’s way, way too much.” 

The union says that the problems are at their worst during rush hour. The union is asking the authorities to consider the possibility of giving licence plates to e-bikes so that enforcement can be done more effectively when things go wrong. 

Could e-bikes be banned from cycle lanes?

The union argues that since e-bikes can travel up to 30 km / h, they should be considered as road vehicles and excluded from using bike lanes. “Almost everything travels at thirty kilometres per hour in the city, so if bicycles go faster than twenty kilometres per hour, they have to go to the road,” de Pater told AT5. “Then the cycle path remains for the vulnerable cyclist.”

Amsterdam Deputy Mayor Melanie van der Horst is already looking into how to fix traffic problems arising in the capital city. According to AT5, the traffic councillor is already in discussions with the central government about updated regulations for electric bicycles, including fat bikes. Plans said to be on the table include minimum ages for e-bike riders, lower speed limits and more road rules.

Image: Shutterstock.com / TonyV3112

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