Many cities dream of having this problem, but for Amsterdam it has become very real, with people struggling to find room to leave their bicycles safely in the city centre, including those on luxury European river cruises. Currently, there are not enough spaces for all the bikes used by commuters and tourists, which meant in 2013 that more than 73,000 were removed from the streets.
The city has proposed that a bicycle garage should be built under the IJ, which is a lake that forms a moat around the Central Station, as well as two floating islands, providing a further 2,000 spaces each. The goal is to have created 21,500 new bike spaces in the area surrounding the station by 2030 to help ease the strain on the city centre.
More than half of people living in Amsterdam regularly ride a bike
A staggering 57 per cent of people in Amsterdam use a bike daily, of which 43 per cent do so to commute to work. The city is extremely easy to navigate on a bicycle, due to the flat terrain and designated segregated bike paths, however, the narrow streets do mean that bicycles chained up here become a major problem.
It can cost the city from €50 to €70 per bike removal, although the owner is only charged €10 to €12 upon retrieval. Although the fines could be increased to cover the costs, due to the amount of cheap bikes available it is though that many would remain uncollected.
During the next 15 years it is hoped that the new building to accommodate the surge in bicycles will rise both above and below ground, catering for those getting around the city on two wheels.
If you’re interested in exploring Amsterdam by bike check out our guide to cycling in Amsterdam.
Image Credit: NH53 (Flickr.com)
This content was written by Angela Sloan. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.