Bicycle usage in Amsterdam has increased in the last 20 years by more than 40%, from 340,000 to 490,000 cycling trips per day in 2012. And the growth continues. The number of cycling trips to and from train stations will have increased by 25% in 2020. Every day, all Amsterdam cyclists travel a combined 2 million kilometres. More than 1500, and on the Weteringschans, even up to 3500 cyclists traverse busy routes during rush hour. Cycling lanes and paths in the city centre are too narrow to accommodate this large stream of cyclists, and bottlenecks arise at busy points. One third of cycling accidents occur on these busy routes (which constitute 15% of the entire cycling network). According to the municipality, investments in infrastructure have been lagging behind this growth, resulting in overflowing bike racks and undersized cycling paths on the main routes in the city centre. In addition, 56% of serious road accidents involve a cyclist (as compared to 48% in 2000).
The Amsterdam cycling network is for the most part in good shape, according to the municipal plan, except for the city centre that often lacks space to enable the construction of separated cycling lanes. This is why 15 kilometres of red cycling paths will be constructed where the worst bottlenecks occur. The municipality will also work on the so-called Plusnetten [“Plus networks”]. The Plus Network for bikes is a sparse network of spacious, comfortable, safe, and fast routes within the city centre. Cyclists have priority there. Cycling routes that will become part of the Plus network must not only conform to the so-called Sustainably Safety criteria; the width of these routes must also accommodate the number of cyclists using them. Cyclists will get as much priority as possible at intersections and waiting time indications lights will enhance their comfort.
In the period leading up to 2020, the municipality, together with other parties such as Prorail and the Amsterdam City Region, will invest almost € 120 million to deal with the most important bottlenecks in the cycling path network, and to implement parking arrangements for bicycles. € 90 million of that money will go to constructing the 38,000 bike parking places. In the period leading up to 2040, about € 200 million will be necessary, of which € 170 million will be allocated for bicycle parking. In comparison with other modes of travel, the municipality calculates that investments in the bicycle have the most effect for each Euro spent.