In recent years many Dutch municipalities made considerable progress in keeping icy bicycle paths under control, but nevertheless winter conditions still cause many single vehicle accidents amongst cyclists. Such accidents are often not registered as traffic accidents. In addition a quick onset of frost makes it difficult to respond quickly and effectively to cyclists’ complaints about insufficient gritting or salting. Therefore the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment developed a special website where cyclists can report where they have recently fallen and lodge complaints about ice control.
The city of Zaanstad has the scoop with their website: www.gladdefietsroutes.nl/zaanstad. Cyclists can indicate on a map exactly where things are going wrong. This can be done also on the spot by mobile phone, with the system automatically registering the location of the phone. But the pilot program is not meant to be a complaints desk only. The map will also show cycle routes that were recently gritted so that cyclists are able to plan the best routes at the time. In the future this information will be supplemented with current data from gritting lorries and information supplied by cyclists via Twitter. Thus nicely informed, cyclists can adjust their behaviour in the light of actual road conditions.