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1/1 Mustapha Laboui leaves district council


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No support for alderman’s resistance against car free day

6 October 2006 – It is almost certain that there will be a car free day in the entire area within the Ring Road next year. The ZuiderAmstel district is still opposed, but can hardly persevere now that a poll shows that three quarters of the district’s residents support the car free day.

This year, Amsterdam did not participate in the car free day, according to Joris Wijnhoven of Friends of the Earth because the municipality was hiding because excuses. However, 300,000 euro has been made available to organise a car free in the entire area within the Ring Road on 16 September 2007, on condition that all districts cooperate.

Only ZuiderAmstel is still protesting. This week, GroenLinks proposed a motion calling on the district to join the initiative. Alderman Erik Koldenhof (conservative VVD) responded that there are already enough cyclists in the city and that people who want fresh air should go to the beach.

Wijnhoven had anticipated that ZuiderAmstel might pose a problem and asked O+S to carry out a poll among district residents. The report, which has not been published yet, shows that 75% of the residents think that a car free day should be organised. Among car owners, the percentage is only slightly lower (72%).

Making the entire area within the ring car free also has the support of a large majority (63%). The alderman’s resistance is supported by only 19% of the residents.

Considering the broad support and the fact that the municipality has made funds available, it would take a ‘pig-headed’ district alderman to persevere in blocking the initiative, Wijnhoven says. He therefore expects that the car free day will take place next year.

The motion of GroenLinks ZuiderAmstel will be put to the vote on 17 October. The Social-Democrat PvdA will determine its position next Monday.


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