The right balance between traffic and staying in the streets of Amsterdam

In a perfect world every mode gets its own track. However, the reality of Amsterdam does not have space for and a broad pavement with terraces, a free bicycle lane, parking spaces and space for tram and car. How do you handle this tension? Amsterdam examined some of their typical city streets: how can a city cope with the accessibility and economic vitality?

For the department of Infrastructure, Traffic & Transport of the municipality of Amsterdam and the Chamber of Commerce Amsterdam, Goudappel Coffeng performed a research into the Woustraat, the De Clerqstraat and the Jan Evertsenstraat. These three streets are typical city streets (in contrast to for example living streets or traffic flow streets). With an expert assessment and empirical research (respons 620 persons) we examined the accessibility profile. What is the function of the street in the current network? How is parking organized, etc.? We mapped out the economic profile, also with an expert assessment and via statistics. What kind of shops and companies are established? How dependent are these from car visits? Eventually we also looked into the profile of visitors and the profile of entrepreneurs. Who is visiting these streets? Why? What is their origin? What transport mode did they use? We did this last part of the research with a visitor survey and a survey for the shop owners in the street. An alternative would be to examine this with mobile phone data. 

The multidisciplinary profiles made it possible to give an assessment of the functioning of the streets, the bottlenecks in this, and the possible interventions and consequences for the economic functioning of the streets. The sales volume of the shops in the streets shows for example that the visitor mainly come by foot or bicycle. However, in the current design of the street it is mainly this group which is affected by the use of pace which is mainly allocated to parking and car traffic. Furthermore, it is proven that fewer cars normally result in an incentive for the recreational supply of functions. This conclusion is incorporated into our recommendations to find a balance between staying and passing the street.

The results of the study are used by the municipality of Amsterdam and the Chamber of Commerce for the new urban mobility approach of Amsterdam (the traffic and transport plan), and moreover in future discussions about the redesign of the streets themselves. We, as Goudappel Coffeng, are using this method in order to do research in other cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants. 

Client: Municipality Amsterdam and Chamber of Commerce Amsterdam
Year: 2011