The attempt to implement the new law about toll cars by the city mayor of Amsterdam
Amsterdam city mayor and alderman made a proposal to impose the drivers on tolling cars going through the city center. According to navigation company TomTom, 40 million passing vehicles have been used in conjunction. The researchers came to the conclusion that the pricing of driving through the city is a good method of preventing traffic accidents. They also cited the successful consequences of introducing congestion levy of 5 pounds in London, resulting in the reduction of cars by 15 percent.
From car-friendly to people-friendly city during 1970s
“The streets no longer belonged to the people who lived there, but to huge traffic flows”
Maartje van Putten, former MEP retrieved from the Guardian
Dutch people, who got affordable to buy cars thanks to the rapidly economic growth during the post war era, faced the enormous number of traffic accident caused by cars during 1970s. According to the Guardian, the number of traffic causalities rose to a peak of 3,300 deaths in 1971. More than 400 children were killed in traffic accidents that year.
Stop de Kindermoord (“stop the child murder”) had a huge impact on the government in those days and went on to develop idea for safer urban planning, which has become to be called the woonerf: people-friendly streets with speed bumps and bends to force the cars drive slowly.
The aim of the city of Amsterdam: Traffic Policy
The Long-term Traffic Safety Plan describes the aims of the city government to make Amsterdam’s streets, pavements, and cycle paths safer. The goal for 2020 is a 25 percent reduction in the number of serious injuries and deaths compared to 2014. They mentioned that the worst traffic congestion is found in Amsterdam’s historic city center, and that research has shown that a great deal (40-60%) of traffic in the city center and surrounding neighborhoods is ‘through traffic’, or traffic with a destination outside the area. According to the mayor and aldermen, reducing the number of cars in some of the streets will make the roads safer to cross for residents and improve traffic safety in general.
The tolling car met with opposition
Despite the statement of the city of Amsterdam, the proposal of a toll car has not been met with support. In fact, several political parties are completely against the idea.
While Pieter Litjens, a member of the right-wing Liberal VVD is supportive for the proposal, the national VD does not agree with the idea, the Parool said on May 3 2018.
“We will absolutely not cooperate with introducing a toll to drive into Amsterdam,” said VVD MP Remco Dijkstra. “Every city should be accessible via a wide variety of methods of transport.”
Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, has articulated that she will not be amending the law to make a toll fee possible in Amsterdam. She states that the coalition agreement clearly specifies that no new road charging policy will be implemented, a toll would therefore contradict this.
Amsterdam as a people-friendly city or just an environmental-friendly but people-unfriendly city?
According to Het Parool, the license plate investigation shows that 40 to 60 percent of car traffic in the neighborhoods around the Stadhouderskade and the Nassaukade should not be in those neighborhoods at all. Now it turns out that these main roads cannot handle all traffic, so that drivers drive through neighborhoods to avoid problems.
The same article mentions “The proposed approach stands or falls with increasing the capacity for cars on the main roads”.
The research shows that there are seven bottlenecks on the Stadhouderskade and the Overtoom. By improving the traffic lights and sometimes even removing them, a better flow can be achieved. At four of the seven bottlenecks, more lanes would be a solution.