Amsterdam unveils new plan to fight creeping congestion

(Nut Iamsupasit/

(Nut Iamsupasit/


, Last Updated: 3:52 PM ET

Amsterdam unveiled Thursday a new traffic plan aimed at reducing the Dutch capital's rising congestion crisis, caused in part by the explosion of two-wheeled transport in one of the world's top cycling cities.

"Over the next few years, Amsterdam will implement new measures to lessen congestion in the city and create more space in public areas that are increasingly under pressure," the city said in a statement.

"More room will be created for cyclists and pedestrians," it stressed.

There are an estimated 800,000 bicycles in Amsterdam and almost two-thirds of its population of around 811,000 use their bikes on a daily basis, according to the city's latest statistics.

Two-wheeled travel grew by 40 percent over the past 20 years.

There are 175,000 pedestrians to and from the city's busy Central Station alone and 400,000 "car movements" daily in the city, Amsterdam's statement added.

"Cyclists, pedestrians, trams, buses and cars are getting into each others' way more and more and the strain on scarce public space around the city is immense," it added.

To deal with the pedal problem, Amsterdam planned to build more bicycle lanes to supplement its already existing network of 500 kilometres of bicycle paths.

Some 40,000 additional bicycle parking spots are also needed, but research showed that 15 percent of bicycles parked in Amsterdam were not actively used.

"Therefore, a proposal has been put forward to enforce a maximum parking duration of six weeks for bikes" in the city centre, Amsterdam said.

It also planned to build 12 new underground parking garages for cars and reducing speed limits in the city centre from 50 kilometres per hour to 30 km/h.