Beer bike operators: Fake complaints led to Amsterdam crackdown
Banning beer bikes from Amsterdam central is disproportionate to the nuisance they cause, according to Rusita Ruitenberg Segall, who represents four beer bike operators fighting against the city for the possibility to keep their businesses running. Especially disproportionate as some of the complaints the ban is based on, are fake, the lawyer said, Het Parool reports.
On Tuesday three lawyers representing the city are meeting with four beer bike operators and their lawyers, according to the newspaper. Last week a court provisionally ruled in the beer bike operators' favor, saying that Amsterdam can't ban beer bikes. On Monday the municipality's complaint committee met again.
According to Ruitenberg Segall, the city legally can not ban beer bikes as that does not fall under its jurisdiction. In addition to that, the ban is disproportionate. A number of complaints came from addresses that no longer exist, Ard Karstens of beer bike operator Damtours said. Colleague Zwier van Laar of Fietscafe added: "Some reports are just opinions of people who say that the beer bike is not good." According to the operator of Limobike, some of the complaints come from addresses on streets that haven't seen a beer bike since 2014.
And in addition to that, Ruitenberg Segall points out that while people shouting in the street may be annoying, "screaming is also a fundamental right". "You are limiting the freedom of citizens to sit on a beer bike, their freedom to express themselves through jollity. Nuisance, as is already there, can be no reason to make it impossible for an entrepreneur to work. The same is true for annoyance. There must be more."