25 October 2010

Bicycles in The Red Light District in Utrecht

Utrecht - Zandpad - Bicycles and Prostitutes
After visiting the Dutch Cyclists Union - Fietsersbond - last week for a business meeting we went on a bicycle ride around the city of Utrecht.

What a lovely city with some interesting and enlightening infrastructure for bicycles. Like elsewhere in the Netherlands, Utrecht has a Red Light District. It's called the Zandpad (Sand path) and it is located along a picturesque canal. The women work out of long row of canal boats.

working girl7
Photo by Buzzthrill on Flickr.

Together with Suzanne, Wim and Theo from the Fietserbond we cycled past. Suzanne explained how the bicycle path along the canal had experienced some problems with the heavy traffic in area. Cars were parking up on the bicycle lane and customers were walking along it like a sidewalk.

In typical Dutch fashion, a solution was sought. Fences were put up between the road and parking and the two-way bicycle lane in order to allow unrestricted access for bicycles to ride past. Taking photos is frowned upon, but I took the photo at the top from a bridge and you can see the fences on the left. There were just as many canal boats on the other side of the bridge behind me.

You could, of course, lock your bicycle to the fence if you were a customer arriving by bicycle. An added bonus.

Utrecht Cycle Chic - Wim and Suzanne
Here's Wim and Suzanne. Theo decided to take his Velomobiel:
Utrecht Cycle Chic - Theos Banana


kfg said...

OK, I admit it; I clicked on the picture. I have a thing for canal boats.

Amsterdamize said...

for those who where perhaps wondering: there's no direct link between the Dutch labor union for prostitutes & the Cyclists Union :-p

hector said...

Nice tour! These are great images taken. Thanks!

Adam said...

That has to be the most charming looking red light district ever.

Amsterdamize said...

@Adam second-most charming, you really should visit Amsterdam then :)

Disclosure: I moved to and live smack in the middle of the Red Light District in Amsterdam. Plus, I was born in Utrecht, cycled along that canal many times, and regardless of the improvements, it can't hold a (red) candle to AMS RLD's charm :).

Adam said...

Amsterdamize, weird thing to be competitive over, but I'll take your word for it. ;P

Amsterdamize said...

competitive? Nah, just informative, factual & invitational :)

Disclosure: I'm not on the pay-roll of the Amsterdam Tourism Board :)

Drew said...


An interesting piece about carmakers turning to the bicycle.

David Hembrow said...

Utrecht has rather more for cyclists to see than merely the red light district.

For instance, the first cycle path in the Netherlands, a road with 200 years of history behind it's cycling provision, a railway station which will soon have 22000 cycle parking spaces, and of course lots and lots of cyclists in the spring and summer as well as in rain and snow.