Speed limits needed on bike paths to prevent road fatalities: travelers assoc.
Dutch municipalities must quickly invest in improving safety on bike paths, especially now that the coronavirus resulted in more people opting for the bicycle instead of public transit, according to travelers' association ANWB. The association suggests building more and better bike paths, and implementing speed limits on these paths, AD reports.
According to ANWB director Frits van Bruggen, bike paths in the Netherlands were already crowded and dangerous before the coronavirus pandemic. Now that more people are avoiding public transit due to the virus, something really needs to be done.
"27 percent of Dutch want to cycle more because of the virus. There are delivery waiting times on e-bikes. In that respect, it is phenomenal what is happening now. But is all that possible? A few years ago, a survey showed that more than a quarter of all Dutch people feel unsafe on bicycles. The bicycle traffic comes from all sides and the cars are in between," Van Bruggen said in an interview with AD. And they're right to be afraid - road fatalities are largely cyclists and pedestrians, he said.
"Before the corona crisis, we already had full cycle paths and more and more two-wheelers at different speeds. E-bikes, e-scooters, bicycles, cargo bikes also in electric, racing bikes, and the e-scooter. Not all of them can ride side by side," Van Bruggen said. "I am 100 percent sure that we will have even more victims because we cycle and take the car more because we no longer dare to use public transport. How much more, I do not know."
The government and municipalities need to act. New traffic rules must be introduced quickly to determine which vehicle can ride where, and at what speed, he said. "A Porsche must drive 30 km/h in a residential area. Then you can also say on the bicycle paths in the city a maximum of 20 km/h and on the bicycle highways between cities you are allowed 45 km/h. A speed limit on the bike path, where you are also fined if you go too fast, already makes it safer."