Making Cycling Irresistable: Superior cycling initiatives: in NL, DK, DE

Making Cycling Irresistable: Superior cycling initiatives: in NL, DK, DE

The Netherlands has 27% of all journeys completed by bicycle, yet like Germany (10%) and Denmark (18%) has very high GDP per person and has some of the highest car ownership rates in the world. So what are they doing that is so much better than the USA (1%), UK (1%), Australia and NZ (1-2%) - who are doing so poorly, who are congested, pulluting and unsustainable?...

Cycle stimulation initiatives in the Netherlands, Germany, & Denmark:

Extensive systems of separate cycling facilities
• Well-maintained, fully integrated paths, lanes and special bicycle streets in cities and surrounding
• Fully coordinated system of colour-coded directional signs for bicyclists
• Off-street short-cuts, such as mid-block connections and passages through dead-ends for cars
Intersection modifications and priority traffic signals
• Advance green lights for cyclists at most intersections
• Advanced cyclist waiting positions (ahead of cars) fed by special bike lanes facilitate safer and
quicker crossings and turns
• Cyclist short-cuts to make right-hand turns before intersections and exemption from red traffic
signals at T-intersections, thus increasing cyclist speed and safety
• Bike paths turn into brightly coloured bike lanes when crossing intersections
• Traffic signals are synchronized at cyclist speeds assuring consecutive green lights for cyclists
(green wave)
• Bollards with flashing lights along bike routes signal cyclists the right speed to reach the next
intersection at a green light
Traffic calming
• Traffic calming of all residential neighbourhoods via speed limit (30 km/hr) and physical
infrastructure deterrents for cars
• Bicycle streets, narrow roads where bikes have absolute priority over cars
• ‘Home Zones’ with 7 km/hr speed limit, where cars must yield to pedestrians and cyclists using
the road
Bike parking
• Large supply of good bike parking throughout the city
• Improved lighting and security of bike parking facilities often featuring guards, video-surveillance
and priority parking for women
Coordination with public transport
• Extensive bike parking at all metro, suburban and regional train stations
• ‘Call a Bike’ programmes: bikes can be rented by cell phone at transit stops, paid for by the minute
and left at any busy intersection in the city
• Bike rentals at most train stations
• Deluxe bike parking garages at some train stations, with video-surveillance, special lighting,
music, repair services and bike rentals
Traffic education and training
• Comprehensive cycling training courses for virtually all school children with test by traffic
• Special cycling training test tracks for children
• Stringent training of motorists to respect pedestrians and cyclists and avoid hitting them
Traffic laws
• Special legal protection for children and elderly cyclists
• Motorists assumed by law to be responsible for almost all crashes with cyclists
• Strict enforcement of cyclist rights by police and courts

From Rutgers University: Pucher & Buelher, (2007): Making cycling irrisistable, lessons from the Netherlands, Denmark & Germany.

PS please help my cycling research by completing this survey: ... WR7Q_3d_3d

Sustainable transport for all :D
Groups audience: 

To read the whole paper go to John Puchers web-page and click on the publications tab:
And watch...

Cycling for Everyone: Lessons for Vancouver from the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany

An hour-long filmed seminar with legendary John Pucher, professor of planning and public policy, Rutgers University, at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver,Canada
May 15, 2008.


(This review from
Seeing John Pucher summing everything up in one entertaining, informative and inspiring video has made my day. He highlights the experiences of many European cities and debunks many myths along the way.

I've read most of what's he has written on increasing cycling and making cycling accessible but seeing this seminar online is purely inspirational.

Now it's no secret that segregated bike infrastructure is the only way ahead for cities wishing to increase their bike culture and daily percentage of trips made by bike. There is no alternative to this common sense.

Alan Preston in Christchurch
Promoting urban appropriate utility bicycles and utility cycling in New Zealand

As well improving roading conditions the Netherlands at the time they were pushing people to bike(in 1966)introduced higher taxes on cars. Especially the older cars incurred higher charges. The other aim in doing so to get older cars off the road.
Wheelfully yours, Marianne.

In France as well (Paris and now other provincial cities) there is very interesting initiatives to encourage cycling. For Paris it calls Vélib

however other initiatives encourage by public transport compagnies (SNCF and RATP) have been existing for decades (rail + bike, where you can pick up your bike at railways stations)