Trouble on the road for cyclists using fast pedelecs; Some moving to bike paths

Man on an electric bike
Man on an electric bikePhoto: AndreyPopov/DepositPhotos

A growing number of bicyclists using electric-assissted pedelec models find themselves frustrated by traffic lights which will not turn green for them as they wait by themselves at stoplights. The bikes are capable of reaching speeds of up to 45 kilometers per hour, and will be allowed to move from the roads back to the bike paths in parts of Rotterdam next week.

The traffic lights do not recognize the bikes because of their lighter weight, said Robert Hulshof of urban design think tank Crow in an interview with the Telegraaf. The cyclists must wait until a car comes along for the light to turn green. “It is a matter of fine-tuning the induction loops that are installed into the ground," he said.

"They react to metal and weight, but if you make them too sensitive, then the traffic lights will react to too many movements."

Rotterdam is among the first municipalities to allow the pedelecs to rejoin normal bicycle traffic. The local rules change on April 1, and pedelec riders will only be allowed to reach a maximum speed of up to 30 km/h, the Telegraaf reported.