By Cătălin Radu
Bicyclists and speed-loving scooter riders share the same bike paths in Groningen, even though this pairing has proven dangerous. Despite a growing number of complaints, the city is still to act on solving this problem.
The battle between cyclists and scooter riders, which has been going on for years, continues to be passed back and forth between national and local officials. Although transport minister Melanie Schultz is – according to DutchNews.nl – “to press ahead with measures to allow local councils to ban motorbikes from cycle lanes”, the Groningen City Council has no such plan.
“We had discussions concerning the scooter problem within the City Council, but it is very difficult to make local rules, so we will try to use our influence in asking for country wide regulations”, said Eddy Beuker, spokesperson for the Groningen municipality. Mr. Beuker admitted that complaints have been piling up for years, which is to be expected in a city where almost 60 percent of all traffic movement is done by bicycle, the highest in all of The Netherlands. “People mostly complain about speeding scooters on the bike paths within the city, but most of them actually only use the roads”, told Mr. Beuker to The Spoke.
This is, however, fairly easy to disprove by anyone simply taking a bike ride in the city. And not even scooter riders are trying to argue with the obvious. “We ride at a maximum of 45 km/h. Yes, accidents do happen, I’ve had at least one every year. But they are never life threatening, and I think that bike riders are upset only with those going 70 or above”, said Wilco Mostert, a 22 year old scooter delivery person in Groningen.
The recommended speed limit on bike lanes is 25 km/h.