History Of How Amsterdam Became The World’s Most “Bicycle-Friendly” City

Amsterdam is known to for a lot of reasons all over the world, one of those reasons is that it is the most welcoming city for those people who still prefer their bicycles over cars for transportation. It is called the most bike-friendly city because if you look at the city roads anywhere in Amsterdam, you will most likely find a path way for bicycles on that road.But this city wasn’t always the friendliest one for the bikers.

If you take a look at the city’s evolution from the early days of 20th century, then the 70’s, the 80’s and then now, you will find out how the locals protested and fought to make their city the most welcoming for bikers.

Bicycles were the main means of transportation in the start of the 20th century. The number of bicycles on the roads of Amsterdam were clearly more than cars. People of all ages used to use bikes for transportation. But as European countries started to develop technologically and economically as well, people began to own and use cars for transportation.

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Now as the number of cars started to increase, the need for bigger roads increased as well. As a result a lot buildings and even residential areas were destroyed to make these roads. Where one could see hundreds of bikes, there were cars now. But as the usage of cars increase, the number of road accidents also started to pile up. According to a newspaper report, the number of deaths were more than 3000 because of road accidents. And about 400 of these deaths were of kids.

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People began to protest all over the city, using different signboards, they were even blocking roads to let the kids play safely and etc. This whole protest was named “Stop de Kindermoord”.

After a couple of years a team of protestors formed a cyclists group in Amsterdam called the First Only Real Dutch Cyclists’ Union. They wanted more place for the people who use bicycles for transportation. Today, this team of rebels who wanted more space for bikers in Amsterdam have more than 30,000 members.

Nowadays, around 22000 miles of path is given to the cyclists all over Holland.

(Via)