Amsterdam officials want to set a 20 kph speed limit on electric bikes within the city’s boundaries to improve safety for other cyclists.
E-bikes can often travel faster than 30 kph, boosting the range of speeds on cycle tracks and endangering children and elderly cyclists, city transport chief Melanie van der Horst has told city councillors.
However, national legislation would be required to legally reduce bike speeds and Van der Horst says she is now lobbying for change in The Hague.
In the meantime, the city is considering using technology known as ‘intelligent speed adaptation’ which warns cyclists they are entering a lower speed zone via an app. It is also planning a pilot to shift fast e-bikes from cycle paths to the roads – if the cyclist wants to continue at high speed.
‘A faster cyclist will be encouraged to either cycle on the road or lower their speed on cycle tracks, which should improve cycle path safety,’ Van der Horst said.
The city will also carry out new research into traffic accidents to study the influence of e-bikes. They were involved in 74 accidents in Amsterdam last year, double the 2021 figure.
In 2019, Amsterdam banned all mopeds from its cycle path network and introduced compulsory helmets – a move which did reduce accidents by around 30%.
Some 50% of new bikes bought last year were electric and research by local broadcaster AT5 last year showed 75% of the city’s residents think bike paths have become less safe since they hit the city’s streets.
Amsterdam is also planning to reduce the speed limit on most city roads to 30 kph.
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