Bikes as an alternative transportation mean in the netherlands

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  • Publicado : 20 de mayo de 2011
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The Netherlands, a country famous worldwide by its windmills, tulips, wooden shoes, social tolerance and water management, has one more distinctive feature most people do not know about until theyemerge out of Amsterdam Central Station: bikes!!! Just to give you an idea, Amsterdam Central Station parking lot holds more than 8 thousand of them. It is an amazing scene to stroll down a street inany Dutch city and bump into young but also elderly people riding a bike to work, school or just to have a break from their busy life. It is also eye-catching that biking in The Netherlands does notimply to wear sporty clothes. Women ride their bikes with skirts and high heels and men do so wearing suits, also showing an incredible ability to carry their groceries while talking on the phone at thesame time.

Having almost 17 million inhabitants, The Netherlands has more bikes than persons, around 18 million bikes. That is 1.05 bikes per inhabitant. And 84% of the Dutch have one or morebikes. Really impressive numbers. But, what makes cycling the prefer transportation mean in The Netherlands? Two main factors answer this question: one, The Netherlands topography and urbanization patternand, two, its cycling infrastructure and policy. The Netherlands is a flat country and it does not have significant elevations within short distances, making it possible to bike almost everywhere.Moreover, due to its reduced size, most public offices and attractions within urban areas are not far away from each other. When it comes to infrastructure, the Netherlands is more than prepared tohandle 18 “fietser” (the Dutch word for cyclist). It has more than 90 thousand kilometers of cycle paths, and all cities are well equipped with specially design traffic lights and sign posting. Nearcommercial zones, train stations, schools and offices, bike racks and/or storages are provided by the municipality.

But not everything is good news. Having to share main roads with motorized traffic...
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