Amsterdam anti-car trial flops; more accidents with bikes
An experiment in Amsterdam to close off a popular shopping area to cars resulted in more accidents involving bikes, the Parool says on Wednesday.
The popular Negen Straatjes district, which is full of small boutiques and cafes, was closed to cars during the day at the weekend for two months last summer.
Locals were happy about the reduction in traffic, especially the drop in noise. However, pedestrians, especially tourists, stopped keeping to the pavements, leading to more collisions with cyclists, the paper says.
Not a good mix
The closure of the area to cars highlights the fact that cyclists and pedestrians are not a good combination, the paper says. ‘Walkers zigzagged across the roads as if they were in a village. Cyclists drove straight ahead, staring into the distance and swearing at tourists as they went.’
The three options now under consideration involve banning bikes as well as cars, reversing the ban on cars or making the division between pedestrians and bikes more obvious. City officials will discuss the next step next week, the paper says.