Fietserbond Amsterdam would like to move e-bikers to the roadway, but experts do not think that is a good idea
The Fietsersbond in Amsterdam is concerned about e-bikes in the city. E-bikers will go too fast on the bike path. Let them go 30 km/h and send them onto the road, says the Fietsersbond. But experts say that’s not a good idea.
The Fietserbond says that the bicycle path is becoming dangerous and that examples of elderly people no longer even dare to cycle on bicycle paths in the city.
’30 km/h not safe’
Traffic psychologist Karel Brookhuis describes the situation outlined by the Fietsersbond. “But all those e-bikes to the road, that doesn’t make me happy. They don’t all drive 30 kilometers per hour. In fact, there are some that drive gradually, a huge one that can’t even go that fast. “
“In addition, if you see who all rides on those e-bikes, 30 km/h for the elderly, the over-70s, I don’t think it’s very wise at all, that’s not safe at all. I’m not a van there .”
‘Don’t cycle between cars’
Agnieszka Stelling, researcher at the Scientific Research Safety Foundation (SWOV), another practical problem when e-bikes are sent to the road. Lowering the limit to 30 is not. The layout of those roads and streets would also be sufficiently geared to this. If you want to do otherwise, you get an undesirably large difference in speed between cars and electric bicycles,” she says.
“We know that electric bicycles are particularly popular with older cyclists. They are actually extra vulnerable in traffic, especially if you let them cycle between the cars.”
An e-bike is a bicycle
There is also no possibility in the law to ‘banish’ e-bikers to the road, says Stelling: “An electric bicycle is simply a bicycle. So you cannot distinguish between the two in terms of different places on the road. Electric bicycles are bicycles, so they belong on the bike path.”
So it doesn’t seem like such a good idea from the Fietsersbond. And a solution for the unsafe situations on busy bicycle paths has not yet been found so quickly, all experts admit.
But that doesn’t mean there are no solutions at all. Researcher Proposition: “You could, for example, make different speeds. But I wonder if that is easy to achieve.” Brookhuis sees that quite outside the city is already quite successful.
“With bicycle paths, actually a vertical term, because you cycle at different speeds. But it is precisely they are so wide that you can easily go on the same bicycle tour with a regular bicycle, a slow or a fast e-bike without getting in each other’s way. sit.”
Marco te Brömmelstroet, professor of Urban Mobility Futures at the University of Amsterdam, also known as the ‘Cycling Professor’ on Twitter, believes that radically different thinking is also needed for a real solution in the city. “The idea actually stems from an underlying question, which is, why is it so dangerous on that lane and why is it so difficult to push other road users there?”
“How can we accept that there is a place in our public space where you can’t even cycle or walk? If we do start thinking about borders, I think it’s strange that we don’t have it first about the limits of those motor vehicles that cause that insecurity.”
Until then, traffic psychologist Brookhuis has a tip for all e-bikers: “It would be wise if you don’t drive so terribly fast on such a thing. In the city that is quite dangerous. And if you hit something at 30 km/h you don’t just get off in one piece.”