Dutch City Hailed as Most Bike-Friendly

Groningen is a model for bike cities worldwide

A bicycle commuter rides past a bike parking station in Groningen, Netherlands. This Dutch city is a model for making cities more bike-friendly all over the world. (Photo: Fietsberaad/Flickr)
Groningen Netherlands bicycle commuters europe

Would you go furniture shopping on a bike? Citizens of Groningen, Netherlands, visit IKEA with special cargo bikes, which is just one of the reason this Dutch town is of the world’s most bicycle-friendly cities, according to The Atlantic. The city has 190,000 inhabitants, 75,000 cars and around 300,000 bicycles.

The city has become a model for effective bicycle infrastructure due to the compact street plan enacted in the 1970s. Gorningen’s center is divided into quadrants, and the city government stipulates that citizens could not drive via car directly from one section to another. However, this law didn't apply to bicyclists.

"This is not really an anti-car measure," David Hembrow, who blogs about Dutch bike culture, told The Atlantic. "What this is, is making the neighborhoods where people live more pleasant, and making cycling into a viable option."

Today, half of all trips in Groningen are made via bicycle, nearly doubling the bicycle commuter rate of the top bike friendly cities in the U.S. In Davis, California, a little less than a quarter of residents commute via bicycle, according to the League of American Bicyclists.

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.
Contribute to Outside
Filed To: News
Lead Photo: Fietsberaad/Flickr
More Adventure