News from Amsterdam

To the front page

11/1 Jurists want to stay in Oudemanhuispoort

8/2 Mayor’s portrait

8/2 Websites for social cohesion

7/2 Spreading tourism proceeds with difficulty

7/2 GroenLinks on districts: Be a man

6/2 Zuideramstel opens new office on Sabbath

5/2 The truth about integration

4/2 Wilders has little support on Amsterdam

3/2 Elite involved in neighbourhood

2/2 Johnnie Walker avoids taxes in Amsterdam

1/2 Rotterdam to tinker with district councils as well

31/1 Wooden rowing boats to disappear from Amstel

31/1 ZeeburgTV launched

27/1 Privacy activists to mess up loyalty card system

27/1 A few were still coughing, but that was an act

27/1 Chrisis in de Baarsjes

26/1 Youth have positive view of districts

24/1 Action groups call for Carmel and Jaffa boycott

24/1 PvdA members dismiss plan for districts

23/1 KLM takes on crisis with new uniform

23/1 District office not squatted

21/1 Merge districts

20/1 Closing squat bar Vrankrijk not necessary

20/1 Cleaners welcome new Schiphol director

18/1 Palestine at the Jewish Historical Museum

18/1 What is the right size for a district?

17/1 PvdA Oost against fewer districts

16/1 Committee: 7 districts by 2010

15/1 Soldiers may attend Afghanistan debate after all

15/1 Bait bike leads to arrest

14/1 Youth for Christ to republish vacancies

13/1 Paintings of the Zuidas

13/1 New Youth for Christ contoversy

11/1 Social cohesion initiative raises eyebrows

10/1 Fewer districts in 2010

10/1 Zuidas: People feel that we are losers

9/1 Fun on the ice - but not for all

9/1 Supermarket coupon fraud thwarted

9/1 I Amsterdam must remain exclusive

8/1 Use term Apartheid in every discussion

8/1 No city kiosk in Amsterdam yet

7/1 Snow

7/1 Fatima Elatik to run Zeeburg

7/1 Municipal managers to return to shop floor

4/1 Police: take photo of strange people

3/1 Gaza protest criticises politicians

1/1 Thousands to protest against attacks on Gaza

1/1 Mustapha Laboui leaves district council


2008 Archive

2007 Archive

2006 Archive

2005 Archive





Complaints about cyclists nothing new

26 January 2008 - Whenever cyclists’ organisation Fietsersbond makes the news, it receives complaints about the behaviour of cyclists. The organisation is going to launch an awareness campaign, but emphasises that there is nothing new about the phenomenon.

“Whenever we have made the news, no matter what it is about, we receive emails saying: You should first educate cyclists and stop whining”, Arien de Jong of the Fietsersbond says in an article in the organisation’s magazine. While insisting that enforcing traffic rules is a police matter, the organisation is going to launch an awareness campaign. “We suspect that many road users don’t realise what impact their behaviour has on others”.

Marjolein de Lange of the Amsterdam branch of the Fietsersbond acknowledges that some cyclists “show no consideration for others, jump red lights, ride on sidewalks or in the wrong direction. They can also be rude and inconsiderate when it regards parking. Some cyclists just dump it somewhere without asking themselves whether they aren’t blocking the way for the handicapped or people with prams”.

Historian Hans Buiter of the TU Eindhoven says that the disciplined behaviour of cyclists in the 1950s and 1960s was something of an anomaly. There have been complaints about cyclists ever since the end of the 19th century. Since cyclists were seen as dangerously fast, municipalities introduced a ten to twelve kmph speed limit in the early 20th century.

In the 1920s, cyclists became a mass phenomenon and police struggled to get a grip on them. A rule to ride on the right side of the road was introduced, and traffic wardens were positioned on dangerous crossings.

Buiter: “But many cyclists didn’t bother, they ignored the instructions. The wardens could whistle as much as they liked, cyclists knew that they were too fast for them. The traffic chaos made good stories for journalists. I know of an article in which a journalist describes how a ‘young lady’ ignored a traffic warden, rode on and waved defiantly. The article tells with relish how a motorist gave the warden a ride to set off in pursuit”.

“The police in Amsterdam was so concerned with the dangerous behaviour of cyclists, that it had educational films produced. The films showed people that they should not sway or ride next to each other. Also, cyclists were not to hold on to riding lorries. And they had to learn to give way”.

De Lange of the Amsterdam Fietsersbond says that many problems can be avoided. If there are sufficient places to park bicycles and if the roads are well-designed, cyclists tend to behave themselves.

Source: Vogelvrije Fietser. Photo from protest website ‘Fietsen op de stoep’ against cyclists riding on sidewalks (no longer active)


Want to receive News from Amsterdam? Click here

This is the old website. Please find new content here