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Want Safe, Bikeable Streets? Get Rid of Free Parking, as Amsterdam Did

StreetsBlogNYC – The city’s $8-an-hour fees, residential permits, and limits to car ownership made it the world’s cycling capital. Is New York brave enough to try it? – “Reminder: Amsterdam wasn’t Amsterdam until it was Amsterdam. The famed “bike capital” of the world was once as congested and car-choked as the worst Western cities. So how did it became so renowned for its livability and sustainability? The simple answer: by narrowing roads and ending free parking. It’s not rocket science: The city’s technical solutions for overcoming car dominance can be applied to any city — that’s one lesson I teach many American university students who come here to study sustainable transportation. The harder part is how.

…It wasn’t until the 1980s that a perfect storm of events — strong advocacy, violent citizen protests, and an oil embargo — forced Amsterdam planners and politicians to advance an agile, car-reduction policy. For example, an intensive, neighborhood-based traffic-calming plan was implemented. The city also built out sidewalks and narrowed residential streets to tight, one-way lanes with humps, keeping speeds at 19 mph or slower…”

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