Amsterdam Bike City Innovation Lab provides a smart solution for different speeds on the cycle path

The winning entry proposes maximum speed on the sidewalk, bike path, and road

Cycling is healthy and environmentally friendly. The bicycle is becoming increasingly important as an alternative to the car and contributes to a car-free city and accessible region. But due to the great variety of bicycles, it is becoming increasingly crowded and unsafe on the bicycle paths. There's cyclists on heavy cargo bikes and fast e-bikes, hurried bicycle delivery guys, and people on 'normal' bicycles - these are all different cyclists with different speeds. The Amsterdam Bike City (ABC) Innovation Lab of the Municipality of Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Transport Region, therefore, organized a bicycle innovation contest for the different speeds on the bicycle path. A solution to this should ensure improved road safety and a more sustainable and liveable city. And with success: out of no fewer than 37 entries, Wichert van Engelen came out as the big winner with his idea for a maximum speed on the sidewalk, cycle path, and road.

On Monday 11th April, Marja Ruigrok, director of the Amsterdam Transport Region, presented the first prize on behalf of ABC to the surprised and delighted Wichert van Engelen during the awards ceremony in Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam. The jury was enthusiastic about his idea because things were kept simple, without the use of complicated technologies. The idea can be applied throughout the city and region and does not distinguish between target groups. Marja Ruigrok: “The solution is relevant, integral, and innovative. This idea also suits perfectly with the city that Amsterdam wants to be and the current road safety policy that has already been implemented there.”

The winning solution is integral and future-oriented

Winner Wichert van Engelen wants to go back to basics with his solution. According to him, it is speed differences in combination with the weight of the vehicles that cause accidents. Two pedestrians colliding is not a big problem. A scooter hitting a cyclist can cause serious injuries, and an SUV hitting a cyclist can be fatal. Van Engelen: “We invented sidewalks, bicycle paths, and roads to reduce the interaction between fast and slow road users and between heavy and light vehicles. Back to the basics means a maximum speed of 10 km/h on the pavement, 20 km/h on the bicycle path, and 30 km/h on the road. This applies everywhere, regardless of the mode of transport.”

The jury was positively surprised by the number of ideas and their variety and originality. The ideas varied from adjustments to the bicycle and safety systems to maximum speeds, apps, and the use of data. There was even a submission from Mexico! More than two thousand people have cast their votes. The top ten entries were allowed to present their idea to a leading jury. The jury included Tim Coronel (road safety ambassador, driver), Esther van Garderen (Cyclists' Union), Marco te Brömmelstroet (University of Amsterdam), Ilona Kemps (Startup in Residence) and Otto van Boggelen (CROW-Fietsberaad).

220411-PakhuisDeZwijger-PrijsuitreikingFietsinnovatielab_si-04.jpg From left to right: Marco te Brömmelstroet, Esther van Garderen, Teeja Arissen (nominee), Servaz van Berkum (Pakhuis de Zwijger), Marja Ruigrok, and winner Wichert van Engelen. In the background: Itsi Alveano and Esperanza Duarte (nominees)

Further research forms the basis for new policy and targeted actions

In addition to many positive aspects, Wichert van Engelen's winning idea also has challenges. That is why ABC challenges him to further develop and test the idea together with experts. For example, more research needs to be done into the practical feasibility. Under current policy and legislation, not everything is possible just like that. The results of the research will be used to set up trials at specific locations in the city or region of Amsterdam. This makes it possible to test which innovations work and which do not. This is then used as input for new (cycling) policy and targeted actions. Van Engelen receives support from all ABC partners and a financial contribution. ABC is also looking at possible combinations with other smart partial solutions from other entries that have scored well.

About the Amsterdam Bike City platform

Amsterdam and the region have been committed to making cycling safe, easy, and pleasant for everyone for more than forty years. This makes Amsterdam an inspiring example for other cities and regions that want to become more bicycle-friendly. Conversely, Amsterdam likes to learn from other cities. Amsterdam is the cycling knowledge city in the world and would like to keep it that way. ABC exchanges knowledge with an (inter)national network of cycling professionals. ABC also stimulates innovation and experiments in the Amsterdam region. The Bicycle Innovation Lab collects feasible ideas to further develop them in a short time via the ABC network.

With the Bicycle Innovation Lab, the Municipality of Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Transport Region want to stimulate bicycle innovation and experiments. In addition to this innovation lab, ABC has an interactive website and LinkedIn page where knowledge is exchanged and people can find each other. ABC organizes information meetings (including in Pakhuis de Zwijger), and digital Meetups and welcomes foreign delegations. The ABC platform is the knowledge and innovation platform and network for the bicycle.


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