Some anticipated but still very good news from the Dutch Bicycle Council (Fietsberaad):
Amsterdam: for the first time, more trips by bike than by car
“In Amsterdam the bicycle is the most widely used means of transportation. In the 2005-2007 period Amsterdammers averaged 0.87 trips per day by bicycle and 0.84 by car. For the first time the bicycle is used more often than the car.
In 2006, all Amsterdammers combined made around 2 million trips per day. This is 8% less than in 1990. This is because the number of trips per person per day has fallen from 3.6 to 3.1. Especially regarding trips within the ring road, known as Old Town.
The number of car trips compared with 1990 fell by 14% in all districts, while the number of bicycle trips inside the ring road has increased by 36%. In the center the bicycle was the dominant means of transportation (41% to 28% on average) and the car the least (18% to 28% on average). This is mainly due to the restrictive parking policy that was initiated in the early 90’s.
In 1990 the Infrastructure and Transport Service Department registered about 235,000 in and out coming car movements through the Singel canal, in 2006 that number had dropped to 172,000, a decrease of more than 25%. In the same period, the number of daily bicycle movements rose from 86,000 to more than 140,000 (+60%). The most popular cycling routes to the center are the Ferdinand Bolstraat, Weesperzijde, Elandsgracht and Spiegelstraat.”
Bold and initially unpopular measures, continuity, persistent measures on all levels will inevitably pay off. Both in the short and the long run.