‘Kijk uit!’ Amsterdam residents feel unsafe around speedy e-bikes on cycle paths

We all know the Dutch: cheese-enjoying, beer-drinking, bicycle experts. But it seems even these cycling veterans can get spooked around e-bikes.

The residents of Amsterdam feel endangered by how fast electric bicycles speed along bicycle paths.

According to a panel survey by AT5, a whopping 80% of participants would agree to a maximum speed limit on these paths.

Fast and furious

Of more than 1900 participants, 75% said e-bikes made cycle paths feel less safe, including e-bike owners themselves.

“The average Amsterdam bike path has turned into a kind of race track,” says one participant. Another participant reported how stressed they feel when biking around e-bikes: “Someone keeps unexpectedly tearing past behind you.”

The good and the bad

Many respondents do see the advantages of an e-bike, especially as a replacement for more polluting methods of travel, like mopeds and scooters.

But even with Amsterdam’s bike lanes rid of mopeds and scooters, speed remains an issue. E-bikes can easily travel 25 kilometres an hour, which makes them dangerous in a bike path with others.

One study by VeiligheidNL shows that e-bikes are increasingly involved in bicycle accidents. For example, victims who use e-bikes are more likely to need emergency treatment for their injuries compared to someone who uses a regular bike.

People want speed limits

There are a few proposals for what to do with e-bikes. A vast majority of surveyed participants, the Amsterdam city council, and the Cyclists’ Union agree that a maximum speed limit for e-bikes is a good idea.

Technically, e-bikes aren’t supposed to travel faster than 25 kilometres an hour, but there are special apps that can increase the speed of an e-bike. At the moment, there’s no proper ban on these boosts.

On the streets

Other participants suggest moving e-bikes to the road, like mopeds and scooters, but this measure is more divisive. One participant says it would be good for the safety of regular cyclists but a huge detriment to the safety of e-bikers.

READ MORE | Enough! Dutch residents want flash delivery services off their streets

“The elderly on electric bicycles are a completely different category than meal deliverers on their fast bicycles and they behave differently than parents who take their children to school with electric cargo bicycles.” 

What do you think of a speed limit for e-bikes in the cities? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Katrien Nivera ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ญ
Katrien Nivera ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ญ
Third culture kid Katrien has been working as a writer and editor at DutchReview for over two years, originally moving to the Netherlands as a tween. Equipped with a Bachelorโ€™s in communication and media and a Masterโ€™s in political communication, sheโ€™s here to stay for her passion for writing, whether itโ€™s current Dutch affairs, the energy market, or universities. Just like the Dutch, Katrien lives by her agenda and enjoys the occasional frietje met mayo โ€” she just wishes she could grow tall, too.
  1. let’s say it loud: ‘BIKERS* CANT CYCLE STRAIGHT WHILE REMAINING ON RIGHTMOST SIDE OF THE BIKE PATH’ is the problem. Crazy e-bikers are very few.

    *90% of them and add to that the phone addicts

    Disclaimer: I have an e-bike with a speed limit of 25 km/h and I regularly dislike people zigzagging from right to left on the bike paths.

  2. And what about normal bikes? I ride a (non-modified, of course) e-bike and it is completely normal to get passed by a normal bike. And let’s not forget people commuting in fashionable speed bikes or speed bikers themselves.
    The problem is not with e-bikes, but with modified e-bikes and delivery e-bikes that go obviously faster than 25 km/h. Anyone can go over 25 km/h in a normal bike when late for work/school/dinner/party/etc.

    As BikeLover mentioned, dangerous phone addicts are everywhere. And then we have the “I-don’t-care-about-traffic-lights” addicts too.

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