Utrecht bike roadways
Image credit: City of Utrecht video.

In the Dutch city of Utrecht, commuters, tourists, and school children whiz to-and-fro on bikes. You’ll see cyclists wearing business suits, carrying grocery bags, and even holding umbrellas in the rain.

Van Rossem: “Our busiest route carries 41,000 cyclists a day. Cycling around is by far the best way to get from A to B.”

That’s Frans Jan van Rossem, the director of Utrecht’s Bicycle Program. He says the city is growing rapidly, so it’s been investing in bike infrastructure.

van Rossem: “At our train station, we are building right now 22,000 public parking spaces for bikes.”

Utrecht has also widened bike lanes along major roadways – in some cases by removing car parking or even driving lanes. And to help cyclists avoid unsafe, traffic-heavy areas, the city has built new bike paths.

van Rossem: “Those routes follow, for example, rivers or canals or train tracks … and they often go through neighborhoods. And very often they are a little bit longer, but they’re much nicer to cycle and there’s much less traffic.”

He says other cities can learn from Utrecht’s large investment in bike infrastructure.

Utrecht's bicycle program director: 'When you start building it, people start using it.' Click To Tweet

van Rossem: “When you start building it, people start using it.”

And that can help reduce traffic and carbon pollution.

Reporting credit: Justyna Bicz/ChavoBart Digital Media.

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