Not an entirely successful bike coaching initiative
It’s a losing battle: the Amsterdam bike coaches that try to regulate bike parking do indeed achieve a more tidied street scene, but the result is not lasting and they cover only a limited area.
Amsterdam has stationed six parking coaches at different locations, one of which is the Leidseplein. Their job was to point out the bike parking areas to cyclists and to prevent illegal parking. While most cyclists readily accepted the recommendations made by the bike coaches, their area of jurisdiction was too small. Within this area they managed to maintain bike parking discipline, but beyond it bikes were again plonked against a lamp post, according to an evaluation commissioned by the Infrastructure, Traffic, and Transport Service of the Amsterdam municipality.
On Leidseplein square, the bike coaches were able to keep the area under control. But the parking problem then just shifted to areas just out of sight of the coaches. The long term effect of this endeavour seems quite limited. When the service ended, bikes reappeared in the cleaned-up zones in no time. Although many cyclists, when addressed, were quite willing to cooperate, most didn’t seem to have the intention to keep up this behaviour. In fact the evaluation report concluded this could not possibly be permanently impressed upon cyclists because of the ever increasing demand for parking spaces. Taking into account the enormous number of cyclists wanting to park their bikes it seems that the officials were trying to achieve the impossible by striving to keep small areas of symbolic significance nicely organized, while causing even more congestion elsewhere. The evaluation report concluded that bike coaches can be marginally effective only in locations covering a small surface area.