Amsterdam is well-known for its cycling culture, with a large network of dedicated bike lanes and infrastructure that makes it easy for residents to get around on two wheels. However, as e-bikes have grown in popularity, the city has had to consider how to guarantee that they are used safely and responsibly on municipal streets and cycle paths.
According to a letter to the Amsterdam municipal council, authorities from the Amsterdam traffic department propose lowering the maximum speed of electric bicycles in the city. Instead of the present restriction of 25 kilometers per hour (15.6 miles per hour), the plan calls for e-bikes in Amsterdam to be limited to 20 kilometers per hour (12.5 miles per hour). This is a recent development that might result in reduced speed restrictions for e-bikes.
The planned lowering of maximum e-bike speed in Amsterdam aims to improve safety for all road users, especially senior cyclists and children. The head of Amsterdam's traffic department, Melanie van der Horst, is concerned that increased e-bike speeds would endanger other road users, particularly pedestrians and non-electric bike riders.
For reference, e-bikes were involved in 74 incidents in Amsterdam during the last year, which is more than double the number of accidents from the previous year. However, it is worth mentioning that the increased use of e-bikes in the city is also a major contributing factor to the increase in accidents.
On top of all that, a recent study conducted by AT5, a local television station, indicates that the majority of Amsterdam residents – 75 percent, to be exact – favor the planned restriction in maximum e-bike speed. According to the study, many people think that the increased use of e-bikes has made cycling lanes less safe, and they support steps to improve safety for all road users.
With all of this in mind, implementing the planned decrease in maximum e-bike speed in Amsterdam will necessitate modifications to the national legislation establishing the statutory speed limit for electric bicycles. As a result, it is unclear if the plan will be approved, and if it is, the adjustments will likely take some time to execute. As is the case with all things pertaining to legislation, a number of phases must be carried out and the process might entail discussions with various stakeholders and involved parties.