This map shows the locations of existing and proposed "fietssnelwegen" in the Netherlands. These are long distance cycle paths which have priority at junctions and which are provided to make long distance commutes practical. They are somewhat greater in scope than what are referred to as "cycling superhighways" in other places.
These are often publicised as a part of the "fietsfilevrij" campaign which emphasises that a long bicycle commute means avoiding traffic jams on the roads.
Cycling policy in the Netherlands has gone a lot further than just providing routes within cities. Many people also make regular longer journeys.
Up in the top right corner there's a vertical green line between A and G. This represents my 30 km long commuting route between Assen and Groningen. I assume that the line is still green as the work is not finished on the route, however it is still very very good. I pointed out before that I find this route to be a lot more efficient than the roads in the UK ever were.
We rode a part of the 50 km long Amsterdam to Utrecht fietssnelweg as part of the Oliebollentocht a few weeks back. You can see just that section of the video which shows the fietssnelweg by clicking here.
Long distance cycle journeys are more popular in the Netherlands than other countries due to conditions which encourage cyclists and make those journeys ever easier. 34% of all journeys up to 7.5 km are by bicycle in the Netherlands, 15% of those between 7.5 km and 15 km and 2% of those over 15 km in length. 2% isn't a huge proportion, but it's a larger one than bicycles are used for even for the shortest of journeys in many countries.
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The less positive stuff What not to do if you want a cycling "revolution" - Long list of interventions and policies which are not helpful. Copy the best examples from the Netherlands - a short list summarising the above. Important to copy the best examples, not just anything "Dutch". Bear in mind that the Netherlands is not perfect. Shared Space - this much hyped idea simply does not work well. It disenfranchises the vulnerable and claims of safety are exaggerated. Don't confuse the concept with far more successful nearly car free streets. Shared Use Paths designed to be used by pedestrians and cyclists together. These rarely work well because the two user groups are too different and it leads to conflicts. They are not built in the Netherlands (but cycle access to pedestrianized zones is good). Strict (or presumed) liability - If you think this is an important part of why people cycle in the Netherlands then it is probably not what you think it is. Helmets - one of several ways of scaremongering about the supposed dangers of what is actually a very safe means of transport
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Experience for yourself how policy and infrastructure in Assen and Groningen have led to the high cycling modal share in this area:
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A cyclist in a cycling family living in the capital of the cycling province of the world's greatest cycling country.
I was born in the UK, lived for over 8 years in New Zealand and have lived in the Netherlands since 2007.
I organise cycling infrastructure study tours, run an online bicycle shop, arrange cycling holidays and write a popular blog about cycling.
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