“Famously, private cars in Amsterdam take a back seat to bicycles: Roughly two-thirds of urban journeys in the Dutch capital take place on two wheels, and only 19 percent of citizens use cars every day.” writes Feargus O’Sullivan for CityLab.
Amsterdam is an old city with narrow streets where space is at a premium. The city not only wants to be a car-free city but they want to make transport cleaner.
Armed with a street-design tool called the knip, or cut, the Dutch capital is slashing car access in the city center, and expanding public transit hours. Amsterdam’s knip is simply the use of barriers to cut access to part of a street. Most of the street still remains accessible for taxis, ride-share and deliveries but the street is no longer a thoroughfare, discouraging drivers from using the street as part of a route. The city has successfully used this tool in a few important areas. In some places these cuts, as well as making some streets one-way, are expected to reduce traffic by as much as 70%.
Amsterdam also intends to reduce its parking spaces by 7,000 to 10,000 by 2025. These spaces are already being removed and re-purposed into wider pavements, green spaces, children’s play areas and bicycle parking facilities. At the same time parking fees will be increased for all visitors.
And cleaner air
At the same time Amsterdam has ambitious plans for the environment. Its existing five low emission zones, where certain vehicles are banned, will be further expanded with the ultimate goal of banning all gas and diesel vehicles from the city by 2030. Instead, the use of electric vehicles is being actively encouraged through subsidies and car-share programs. Although the city already has about 3,000 charge points, they anticipate as many as 23,000 by 2025. To meet this infrastructure need, new charge points are already being installed and anyone who buys an electric car will be able to apply for one in their neighborhood.
Regular meetings are being held with residents to discuss further measures. The city of Amsterdam knows that big ambitions need broad support.
Read the full story here.