Amsterdam has 881.000 bicycles

Transport policy in Amsterdam has for years been focused on reducing the use of car and encourage cycling. The municipality has done a lot: there is an extensive network of bicycle paths, bicycle storages and depots, and ideal cycling conditions. The daily percentage of people cycling is 58%.

But nobody knows exactly how many bikes there are. There is a simple method available to estimate the number of bicycles called the “Wisdom of the Crowds”. The idea is that the average taken from a group of experts (participants) produces “the truth”. In this case the experts consist of the group of 2600 panel members who filled in a survey about cycling policy made by the Research & Statistics department of the municipality. The average of all the responses came out to 881,000 bicycles.

The survey was carried out in November 2011. It highlights pleasant aspects of cycling in town (seven out of 10 Amsterdam citizens find it enjoyable to cycle through Amsterdam), but also negative points such as the profusion of bicycles parked at stations and other locations, bicycle theft, abandoned bicycles and dangerous traffic situations. The survey can be found from the download centre on the Research & Statistics department of the municipality of Amsterdam (Dutch only).