City bike seizures "theft": cyclist assoc.

According to the Fietsersbond (Cyclists association), municipalities are committing theft by too rigorously removing bicycles from cities and stations. 

In the 20 largest municipalities in the Netherlands 26 percent more bicycles were taken in 2013 than in 2012, AD reports. In 2012 it amounted to 467 bikes per day. Last year it was 586 bikes per day.

Bicycles may only be removed without warning if they, for example, are blocking emergency exits. According to the Fietsersbond, this rule is increasingly being misused to remove faulty parked bikes at stations and in city centers. "This is simply theft." said traffic expert Theo Zeegers of the Fietsersbond. The removed bikes are also not kept for long enough.

Amsterdam is the leader when it comes to removing bikes - more than 73 thousand bikes. On average, one in 11 Amsterdam residents had their bikes removed last year. "How some municipalities apply the rules is really ridiculous", said Zeegers. The municipality of Amsterdam removes bicycles without using the General Administrative Law, which makes objecting impossible.

According to the Fietsberaad, the knowledge center for cycling policy, "the use of bicycles is growing through the roof". "In the Netherlands we easily create parking garages, but there is simply no place for bicycles. New space should be sought, if necessary underground."