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'We are really struggling with space': Amsterdam pushes more cars off its streets but is it enough?

FILE - Bicycles locked up haphazardly in Amsterdam
FILE - Bicycles locked up haphazardly in Amsterdam Copyright euronews
Copyright euronews
By Fernande Van Tets with Daniel Bellamy
Published on Updated
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Since 2019, the city council has tried to remove as many car parking places as it can get away with, but there's still not enough space for residents.

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This summer, local authorities in Amsterdam closed one of the city's major traffic arteries to cars in a six-week trial.

Although Amsterdam is probably the most bicycle-friendly city in the world; this time they may go further than ever.

Many cyclists were of course happy. 

"I found the experiment very positive. Apart from the fact that it is super nice when you live here, you can hear how loud it is here … and today isn’t so bad, there are days when it’s much worse," said one bike-riding man using the artery," said one Amsterdammer who spoke to Euronews.

But the trial greatly annoyed car-owning residents who are finding it very difficult to drive in, out, or around their city. 

"The cyclists have a priority in Amsterdam actually, so I think it’s hard. We also have a car and when we need to use the car it's difficult," countered one car-owning but frustrated woman.

'We are really struggling with space'

Cars are clearly losing the battle for space in the city but everyone feels a bit squashed on the roads when commuting to and from work.

"We are really struggling with space in Amsterdam," Melanie Ter Horst, the city's deputy mayor said.

"We don’t have enough space for everyone to get from A to B. And that’s why we need to make more space for cyclists and pedestrians."

"Now we are creating many underground parking garages for bikes," Horst said.

A giant underground bike park was built in 2017 and is cleverly located near Amsterdam’s Centraal Station which around 200,000 travellers travel through every day - and about half of them arrive by bicycle.

A sped-up video of the construction projection showed just how complex it was and how serious the city is in promoting cycling.

But unbelievably, despite having space for nearly 7,000 bicycles it is not the largest, that's a record still held by the city of Utrecht.

For more on this story, watch the video in the media player above.

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