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‘Closing Rijksmuseum passage will worsen traffic safety’

According to an analysis by cyclists’ organisation Fietsersbond, there are errors in a report used by the Zuid district to underpin a decision to close the Rijksmuseum passage for cyclists. According to the study, a bicycle ban will cause a slight improvement in traffic safety, but the Fietsersbond finds that the risk of accidents will rise.

End April, the Zuid district presented a study that would show that closing the passage is somewhat safer. Coalition parties therefore decided to reconsider the decision to allow cyclists to use the passage again after the renovation of the museum:

For all kinds of solution something can be said, but in the end this is the most ideal one. It is unambiguous, there will be a splendid walking route and traffic safety will improve.

The Fietsersbond made a new calculation and concludes that closing the passage will not improve safety by 5%, but worsen it by 25%. One of the criticisms is that the researchers have not taken into account that many cyclists will cross the Stadhouderskade outside the area under study, which will also entail risks. The district’s report acknowledges that risks outside the area under study are not included in the assessment:

The study is limited to crossings and roads in the direct environment of the Rijksmuseum. Of course, the variants can have an impact on a larger scale, and on other locations in the inner city of Amsterdam. In order to make a proper assessment of this effect, one needs better information on cyclist routes through the inner city. However, that information is currently not available.

The district council will discuss the district administration’s intention to introduce a bicycle ban next Tuesday. The final decision will be made by the city administration. The Fietsersbond argues that there is no longer any reason to reconsider the decision to open the passage for cyclists.

Via Amsterdamize

8 May 2012 |