Less pressure on the road, less stress on the bike! Sustainability


Few things in this world go together like Amsterdam and the bicycle. In all weathers, rain or shine, in good times and bad, Amsterdammers, visitors and increasingly also tourists take to the saddle of a huge range of different bikes. In our compact city, bicycles are one of the most important modes of transport and the one that’s growing fastest. This increase in the number of cyclists and bicycle journeys is putting pressure on the bicycle network and creating more stress for cyclists. Almost four in 10 cyclists say they experience the busier places in the city as stressful. Traffic congestion, the unpredictable behaviour of other road users and limited space are cited as reasons. We consider improving the spread of cyclists across the bicycle network as one of the most important tools for tackling these problems. This will contribute towards the following goals:

  • Increasing the appeal and enhancing the experience of journeys made by bicycle

The (personal) appeal of a bicycle ride is affected by the amount of greenery you see, the sounds you hear, the variety of your surroundings you experience and the quality of the air you breathe.

  • Increasing the chance of comfortable and unhindered cycling

Comfortable and unhindered cycling means that cyclists are able to reach their destinations via generous, direct, fast, smooth and recognisable routes, and exposure to and/or inconvenience caused by uncomfortable situations (for example road works) is minimised.

  • Preventing unwanted behaviour by cyclists

A more even distribution of cyclists across the network will ensure that cyclists have more space, get in each other’s way less often, and are less likely to be inconvenienced by each other’s (negative) cycling behaviour.

The question

What digital or non-digital solutions can the City of Amsterdam apply to ease the pressure on the bicycle network and enable cyclists to choose appealing and comfortable routes?

Two possible pilot locations for this project are Overtoom, with Eerste Helmersstraat as the alternative route, and Utrechtsestraat, with Reguliersgracht as the alternative route.


As much as possible, the solution should meet the following criteria:

  • The solution should alleviate the pressure on the bicycle network and make (personally) attractive and comfortable cycle routes more widely known, more recognisable and easier to find.
  • It should be possible to apply the solution to reduce the inconvenience to cyclists caused by road works and other construction works.
  • The solution should take into account personal motives (which depend on location) and the fact that cycling is a habitual behaviour. It should be a concrete product that can be tested by/on ‘real’ cyclists (in six-month period).
  • The solution should have minimal impact on public space and must be developed within the framework of current legislation and regulations regarding public space and road safety (a precondition).

Issued by:

  • City of Amsterdam, Bicycle, Mobility & Public Space Programme (Programma Fiets, Verkeer & Openbare Ruimte)