Are there really too many bikes in Amsterdam?

In June, the New York Times published a story headlined "The Dutch Prize Their Pedal Power, But a Sea of Bikes Swamps Their Capital" that instigated much debate (over 365 reader comments in one day) and a torrent of emails to the editor. The Times followed up by seeking a "dialogue" with its readers about the supposed "swamping" of Amsterdam by bicycles. Then came all the echoes of the Times narrative in other media. So, are there really too many bikes in Amsterdam? On a recent trip to the Netherlands, I got to experience this "sea of bikes" first-hand, and I saw no true problems other than pockets of less-than-ideal bike parking accommodations. Over 30 percent of trips in Amsterdam are done by bike, and many locals have decried the Times article as hyperbole. See what some of them have to say about the situation in this Streetfilm.

Comments

EFO EFO: To much in Amsterdam but the real problem is they are not following the rules specially the bikers in the night are driving high or drunk without lights.

Bas Van Nieuwland: There are not to many bikes. There are to many tourists...

Kees Manuel: Amsterdam is great, we love to bike 🚲: https://youtu.be/Oe1O5orrgm8

Immernoch Wieder: Weiter so, Amsterdam :-)

Eg gy: Now 5 years later we can admit they were right.

Onkel Doerte: The NY-Times asked if there are too many bikes? :D What's that for a stupid qustion anyways? Imagine, that all those people riding bikes would take a car. The traffic would be like horrible. It would be like... in NY :D

Rory Khan: I would kick every single one of those cyclists OFF if they intruded my personal space & privacy it’s a fact.

Bob Torres: My commute home yesterday while driving my car is 15 miles, it took me 2 hours! Our problem is we have way too many cars, Not bike! On the same commute on my bike it takes me 1 hour and 10 minutes on average. All traffic problems are caused by motorvehicles not bicycles.

Samantha Theriot: One thing I notice watching all these bike videos from Amsterdam is that there are no obese or fat people.....I see that alone as a huge plus for this type of culture. Challenges present everywhere for everything, this should be the way transport is in all countries IMO

Carlos Merighe: The idiot reporter who wrote about Amsterdam having too many bikes probably wrote the article while stuck in a traffic jam in NYC. lol.

Joseph J: I love it!

ArrigAutist: So the whole thing was about another US one eyed fictional focus on personal safety, freedom and whathavewe..
Like gun discussion, no matter how many innocent children murdered, always because the Real Hero was unavailable

PIUR: I completely agree with Henry Cutler, there is never too many bikes !

Mochammad Husni Rizal: First I was amazed that there are a lot more bikes in Amsterdam than in my city, and then I was more amazed that it was considered a 'problem' for them.

Geert van Schaik: Imagine all these Bicycle people in cars... It would not improve the situation; it would make it far worse. Besides there is only a parking problem. Not a biking problem.

xenon127: The point is whether they would be replaced by cars and whether that would be worse .... ? Of course cyclists cause some problems for pedestrians. You have to measure that against health benefits of cycling and problems of polluting cars. Then the environmental issues. Overall relative to the alternative I doubt they are a problem. Love the last clip. Ha ha

xenon127: Too many tulips and windmills IMO. Sick of them.

Missy Me: Do they get ice or snow? If so....yikes. I'm surprised the bikes don't have canopies.

Beatles5: Too many bikes? Ok, try to replace them with cars.....

wkruit1: Replace all those "too many" bikes with cars. Then you can come and see the mayhem!!

Your name:

Your comment:

Video on this topic

Electric bikes vs Amsterdam vs Axis of Epic

Electric bikes  vs Amsterdam vs Axis of Epic

Electric biking in Amsterdam? Yes please. But it can get fairly hectic in the bike capitol of the world. So many bikes, boats and Bohemians. Many thanks to Rob ...

Stealing bikes in Amsterdam

Stealing bikes in Amsterdam

As we are developing a new lock to prevent a thief from stealing your bike, we wondered how hard it would actually be to steal a bike. We decided to test it ...

CYCLING through AMSTERDAM

CYCLING through AMSTERDAM

Check the fresh new autumn edition of cycling through Amsterdam: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3lbAt0MpxQ www.gossebouma.com By some locals, ...

Amsterdam cyclists during rush hour

Amsterdam cyclists during rush hour

It takes only 5 minutes to show the behaviour of some cyclists, pedestrians and cars in Amsterdam. They all can take an example of the Amsterdam pigeon, ...

Bicycles traffic jam in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Bicycles traffic jam in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam Bicycle Rush Hour

Amsterdam Bicycle Rush Hour

Amsterdam Bicycle Rush Hour more info: http://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/amsterdam-bicycle-rush-hour/

Cycling in Amsterdam

Cycling in Amsterdam

Near miss at : 2m44s ,

Squeezing Strangers' Bikes in Amsterdam!

Squeezing Strangers' Bikes in Amsterdam!

Thanks to Théo for this: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheLetterFifteen/ Also, thanks to everyone who submitted videos! It was fascinating to see what people ...

Are there really too many bikes in Amsterdam?

Are there really too many bikes in Amsterdam?

In June, the New York Times published a story headlined "The Dutch Prize Their Pedal Power, But a Sea of Bikes Swamps Their Capital" that instigated much ...