Amsterdam to remove shared bikes parked in public spaces

The municipality of Amsterdam will soon start removing shared bicycles left parked in public spaces, the municipality said in a press statement. Public spaces may not be used as a place of issue and bike sharing companies that do so are hindering city traffic by using up the already scarce bicycle parking, according to the city.

"We do not want shared bikes to take up the scarce public space", Traffic alderman Pieter Litjens said in the statement. "We are working hard to create more space for the cyclist, and we do not want this to be taken up by the many commercial shared bicycles. In fact, if they do, we will take them away. The purpose of the bike sharing concept must be to reduce the number of bikes in the city. So far they only seem to be increasing, we want to put an end to that."

This measure will be implemented after the summer, according to local broadcaster AT5. It applies to the entire city, but the city center and district Oost will receive te first attention, according to the broadcaster.

Removing shared bikes from public spaces is a temporary measure with which the city wants to "take a stand", a spokesperson for the city council said to the broadcaster. Ultimately the council wants less bikes in the city, and more bicycles that are actually used. "We had to show the limit now."

Vikenti Kumanikin, founder of bike sharing company Flick Bike, is not surprised by this measure and even welcomes it. "We are happy with the decision of the municipality. It's a pity that the municipality is addressing it so negatively. But they have to do it now. There are so many parties that dump their bikes in large numbers in the city. The hand brake had to be pulled", he said to AT5. 

Kumanikin thinks that the municipality is imposing this rigorous measure because many companies have little self-regulation. "We will wait to see how strict enforcement will be." He believes that the concept of bike sharing will survive this measure, only the way in which rules are made will change.