City of Utrecht Our policy on cycling

Bicycle path Vredenburg

How can we encourage even more people in and around Utrecht to use their bicycles? By organising specific activities and by taking measures included in the ‘Utrecht - we all cycle!’ Action Plan. ‘Utrecht -we all cycle!’ is Utrecht’s response to the challenge of becoming a world-class bicycle city.

The challenge of becoming a world-class bicycle city

The ‘Utrecht -we all cycle!’ Action Plan includes a package of concrete measures and is indicative of Utrecht’s ambition until 2020. The major and minor activities associated with these measures have already been planned by the municipality. New activities resulting from the City Discussion are added.

To a vigorous city by bicycle

It is our ambition to create an essentially different city: a city that is healthy, sustainable, accessible, liveable and attractive. A city that is performing well in terms of quality of living, with clean air and less traffic noise, which contributes to a favourable climate for new inhabitants and businesses. Making Utrecht the ideal bike-friendly city requires innovations. With the construction of the largest bicycle building in the world well underway and boasting the first Parking route for bicycles, Utrecht is creating more space for bicycles and a better bicycle and cycling experience.

Cycling represents freedom; freedom for everybody to move through the city in a way that is convenient, pleasant and cheap. ‘Best cycling city in the world’ means that people of all ages  be able to cycle safe and that even more people opt for using the bicycle, also between Utrecht and its neighbouring municipalities.

Utrecht has a population of 350,000. The city is part of an urban area with over 650,000 inhabitants. It is an area with a huge growth potential for bicycle traffic. In this context, therefore we cooperate with our neighbouring municipalities and the province. We aim at doubling the use of bicycles in commuter traffic by 2030 (compared to 2011). About 60% of the working population lives less than15 kilometers from their place of work and can go to work by bicycle.

Current policy

The city council considers cycling (and walking) the most important means of transport in the city. Bicycle parking capacity is extended, and we are building an efficient network of convenient major bicycle routes. Many pedestrian routes will be improved as well, beginning in the city centre.

Utrecht Attractive and Accessible

The ‘Utrecht – we all cycle!’ Action Plan is a tangible result of the policy paper of Utrecht Attractive and Accessible (UAA). UAA focuses on achieving the right balance between accessibility, attractiveness and livability by 2030. The municipality of Utrecht is growing and city traffic is on the increase, but space is limited.

UAA is about how Utrecht can and wants to develop in the field of traffic and mobility within this limited space. For instance, it determines where the cyclist and pedestrian get more room and which routes are the fast and logical routes for cars and public transport. The vision is also about how a smart organisation of public space can ensure that people walk or bike more often. Utrecht has to be a beautiful, easily accessible city that is great for living, work and recreation.

Create room for commerce, community, and social connection

A medieval city that was originally built at a human scale, Utrecht refuses to set aside enormous amounts of space for cars. Instead our goal is to create room for commerce, community, and social connection. However there is a big challenge: Utrecht is a fast growing city with fast expanding urban mobility. The city has to facilitate this within the same limited public space and a denser built environment.

How to maintain the human scale in this fast-growing bicycle-friendly city?

In order to maintain the human scale we have created a sustainable mobility plan that gives way to the most efficient modes of transport in terms of public space. This means that we prioritize pedestrians, cyclists and public transport. This transition resulted in a well-developed bicycle infrastructure and encourages us to take the next step in bicycle-friendly urban development.

Read more about the way we make bicycle facilities in Utrecht in ‘Utrecht – a bicycle friendly city’.

City discussion ‘Utrecht – we all cycle!

At the city discussion ‘Utrecht – we all cycle!’ (26 January 2015), 180 residents, entrepreneurs and organisations discussed how Utrecht could be an even better bicycle-friendly city. Many of their solutions and ideas have been included in the ‘Utrecht – we all cycle!’ Action Plan.

Summary Action Plan 2015-2020 (pdf, 149kB)


City hall

Stadsplateau 1, Utrecht


+31 (0)30 286 00 00


Postal Address

P.O. box 16200, 3500 CE Utrecht