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Dutch cyclists caught up in the wheels of success FEATURE 12/03/2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Dutch cyclists caught up in the wheels of success

FEATURE

12/03/2010
THE HAGUE — Fatal accidents, gridlock at the traffic lights: cycling’s popularity in the Netherlands, where the number of bicycles outnumber the country’s population, has brought with it its own problems.

“Sometimes there are so many people at the traffic lights that there are jams: not everyone has time to cross the street in one go,” Hugo van der Steenhoven, president of the Dutch Cyclists Federation, told AFP.
“We are victims of our own success,” he added.

More than a quarter of journey made by the Dutch are on bicycles.

But at rush-hour in the morning, between 8 and 9 a.m., that means some 1.75 million are jostling for position on the country’s cycling paths.

And even if there are nearly 19,000 kilometers (11,800 miles) of such paths, that is still a lot of bicycles. In fact, in a country of 16.5 million people, there are 18 million bicycles.

“More people also means less safe cycle paths,” Frand de Kok of the Dutch Tourism Federation (ANWB) told AFP..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101203com6.html

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