In Amsterdam, bicycles are everywhere, even chained to the city’s many canal bridges. While this may be practical for cyclists, it’s not exactly aesthetically pleasing or helpful when it comes to street congestion. Since chained bikes often mar canal views and clog sidewalks, the city has decided to place wooden plant and flower baskets on the busiest canal bridges to encourage cyclists to look elsewhere to park their bikes.
According to a spokesperson from Amsterdam’s city council, “Due to the large number of bicycles parked at the bridge railings, pedestrians no longer fit on the narrow sidewalks and walk on the roadway. This creates unsafe situations.”
The issue isn’t surprising. Amsterdam has 478 miles of cycling lanes, and more bikes than people. With the onset of the pandemic, biking has become an increasingly popular mode of transportation as public buses fell out of favor. This rise in cycling has also led to congested bike lanes, which have become a safety issue.
Frits van Bruggen, director of the cyclists’ association Algemene Nederlandse Wielrijders-Bond (ANWB), told the NL Times, “Before the corona crisis, we already had full cycle paths and more and more two-wheelers at different speeds. E-bikes, e-scooters, bicycles, cargo bikes also in electric, racing bikes, and the e-scooter. Not all of them can ride side by side. I am 100 percent sure that we will have even more victims because we cycle and take the car more because we no longer dare to use public transport. How much more, I do not know.”