New Amsterdam pedestrian bridge to repeatedly open for ships, inconveniencing many

The new bicycle and pedestrian bridge Amsterdam has planned over the IJ river, between Java Island and Noord, will open for ships that can't fit beneath it at request, Het Parool reports based on the municipality's plans for the Java Bridge. This means that the estimated 30 thousand cyclists who will use the bridge, will often find it with closed gates, waiting for a ship to pass.

Deep within the municipality's plans, there are a few sentences detailing what will happen when ships that can't fit below the bridge's deck - at a height of between 9 and 11 meters - want to pass, according to the newspaper. At request, the bridge will open for them, except during morning and evening rush hours. 

The shipping route on the IJ can be very busy, the plans say. It could mean that cyclists could face a 10 minute wait up to three times per hour. "In the weekends during high season, the bridge may be unavailable for slow traffic for about half of the time", the city council predicts. "Cyclists and pedestrians can then choose an alternative route."

These promises were added to the plans at the insistence of De Hiswa - the association for pleasure craft, according to Het Parool. The association demanded that the smooth passage of the pleasure crafts continue to be guaranteed after this new bridge is built. "An increase in the waiting time for the recreational vessel will be very limited", the municipality promises in its plans, according to the newspaper.

For the cyclists and pedestrians left waiting at closed booms, the municipality promises good communication about the waiting times.