Amsterdam alderman wants to introduce 20km/h biking speed limit

Amsterdam Alderman Melanie van der Horst has called for a 20 kilometer per hour maximum speed limit for cyclists to enhance traffic safety throughout the city. She discussed the proposal in a letter to city council on Wednesday evening.

Since maximum speed limits are determined by national legislation, negotiations with the national government will be necessary, said Van der Horst, who is in charge of the city’s traffic and transport portfolio of policy issues. The speed limit would primarily target the increasing number of e-bikes, which makes traffic situations more dangerous, she said.

Van der Horst pointed to a 2021 survey indicating that 70% of Amsterdammers were concerned about traffic safety. According to the study, the speed of electric bikes and scooters was a primary reason for their feeling of insecurity in traffic.

Data from Statistics Netherlands (CBS) indicate that the number of accidents involving e-bikes increased in 2021. The number of e-bike fatalities rose from 74 in 2020 to 80 in 2021. Police reported in January that e-bikes were involved in more accidents last year compared to 2019, though specific figures were not provided.

Police also attributed one of the causes to the fact that many bike paths are ill-equipped to handle the increasing variety of two-wheeled vehicles, such as e-bikes and fat bikes.

Reporting by ANP

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