Amsterdam bans cars on busiest road to test effect on air quality

Amsterdam bans cars on busiest road to test effect on air quality

In a bold move to test the air quality and congestion in the city of Amsterdam, the government plans on temporarily banning cars from one of their busiest roads. The pilot-scheme will be conducted over an eight-week period in the spring of 2021, from March 15 to May 9.

The only traffic allowed along the busy Weesperstraat during the trial period will be cyclists, public transport, emergency vehicles and pedestrians. The ban forms part of the Agenda Amsterdam Autoluw, which was adopted by the city council in 2019. The aim is for authorities to measure the impact of no traffic on the quality of life, congestion and more importantly the quality of the air in the area.

Globally, many cities have used the lockdown period to reroute busy roads to deal with traffic jams and severe air pollution.

There is no doubt there will be mayhem in the beginning phase of the project. To get ahead of the problems, traffic officials will close off some narrow streets to avoid vehicles rerouting through roads that won’t be able to handle the high volumes. They plan on closely monitoring the situation for the first week to ensure traffic flows easier.

In the longterm, the council says they want ‘more living space and cleaner air’ as well as ‘more space for cyclists, pedestrians and public transport’.

“The car therefore has to give up space, but we do want to keep the city accessible,” they concluded.

Picture: Amsterdam City Council