In this second part, Tim Davis takes a look at how Amsterdam priorizes pedestrians. (I’ve left the emphases intact to capture some of Davis Speak.)
For those who think that Amsterdam prioritizes cyclists over pedestrians, the *opposite* is true. In fact, the very center of Amsterdam is so dense (especially in summer, when these were taken) that NO ONE bikes.
And I didn’t even include the VERY crowded “Dam” or central train station area in these shots; in both of those areas, *no one* is biking. Everyone is either walking, taking transit or in the canals themselves.
More importantly, Amsterdam is the only city on Earth (as far as I know, anyway) that both prioritizes and funds transportation modes in the *correct* order: 1. Walking 2. Cycling 3. Public transit 4. Movement of freight 5. Private auto use. This benefits ALL users of the streets. It’s by FAR the easiest city in which to drive of any big city I’ve ever driven. Thus, if you MUST drive, you easily CAN drive because so very few people are driving. It’s SUCH ideal land use, planning, transportation, vibrancy, local business success, happiness index, etc.
In fact, Amsterdam has gotten SO popular that they just announced that they’re *removing* the super large & iconic tourist-magnet “I Amsterdam” sign. Amsterdam city officials want the city to serve the people who live there and not just tourists. American cities could learn a lot from this. So now, people can have more peaceful walks in the “Museumplein” area and actually go into museums or whatever they’d like to do, rather than get absolutely mobbed by enormous tourons (tourist morons) who take a billion selfies by the “I Amsterdam” sign. So, the tourons will have to find something actually culturally interesting to do now in Amsterdam–or find another city with a giant tourist-oriented magnet that attracts the lame selfie-taking crowd.
I LOVE this quote from the article–and it makes me love Amsterdam all the MORE!!
“The decision to remove the letters, which have been a popular draw with tourists for 14 years, was taken by the left-wing green party GroenLinks, now the biggest on the city council. GroenLinks councillors say the slogan has become a symbol for mass tourism and individualism in a city which stands for solidarity and diversity.”