Amsterdam to give car traffic less priority as streets and sidewalks fill up
Amsterdam will give car traffic less priority in the future. The city’s streets and sidewalks are filling up as the population grows. Traffic speed and flow will get less focus as the Amsterdam government tries to find space for everyone, traffic alderman Malnie van der Horrst (D66) said in a guidance document on public space until 2050, Parool reports.
Amsterdam’s population is growing by about 10,000 people a year. That also means more crowded bike paths and sidewalks. Moreover, without intervention, car traffic will increase by almost 30 percent in the coming years. The situation is not future-proof, and it has to change, Van der Horst said.
Amsterdam must find a new balance between space for mobility and room for green areas, gathering, and economic activity. That may mean that Amsterdam residents will have to “wait a little longer” during rush hour, motorists may spend longer at red lights, and locals may have to accept that same-day delivery is a thing of the past.
“We prefer to park in front of the door with a cargo bike, e-bike, and car. We prefer to have our orders delivered as quickly as possible. But space is limited. That means we must always make choices and determine who or what type of use we give free rein to. Because not everything fits at the same time, not everyone can get their way. It will chafe and hurt,” the alderman said.
When designing the city, Amsterdam will no longer give the highest priority to the smooth and rapid flow of car traffic. “By continually investing in traffic flow, we maintain a system that continues to feed itself,” Van der Horst said. Some streets will become one-way, and the city will ban cars completely in other places.
Cyclists will also have to adapt. Next year, the city will introduce streets where faster cyclists, often on e-bikes and fatbikes, can choose between the motorway or the bike path. Those who choose the bike path must adhere to a speed limit of 20 kilometers per hour.
In the near future, Van der Horst will talk with stakeholders and Amsterdam residents. She hopes to finalize the new vision next year.