The municipality of Amsterdam was surprised by the number of traffic jams that have arisen since it closed the Oostertoegang, but it is determined to continue to dramatically reduce the number of cars into the city center. And worse is yet to come. This summer, the city will also close Weesperstraat to road traffic, AT5 reports.
To reduce the traffic chaos in the city center, the bridge that goes from the city center to the Oostertoegang was closed so that only local traffic could enter the Oosterdokseiland from the other side. According to traffic alderman Melanie van der Horts, the municipality was surprised by how many road users used the detour route, the nearby De Ruijterkade.
But despite the traffic jams caused by the closure, she believes there is still too much traffic driving through the city center. “You may wonder if it’s normal to drive a car here, right in the middle of the city,” she told AT5. “While there is a subway going underneath it. It just doesn’t fit anymore. Not everyone can drive here.”
Another closure will be added in the summer. The city will shut down Weesperstraat between 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. for a period six weeks. Then, cars and other road traffic will not be able to use that route to drive to Dam Square via Amstel.
According to Van der Horst, the municipality wants to “test” the effect of that closure. She expects the situation to be different from the current problems with the Oostertoegang closure.
“At the Oostertoegang, it is really different because you can go through it. So everyone wants to go through that way. And then you end up in traffic jams together. Here you are diverted. And yes, you will undoubtedly have to search for different routes in the beginning. And that is what we will study.”
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