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