October 30, 2005
An Amsterdam Streetcar Street
The Portland delegation is trickling into Amsterdam, with most of the group at an arrival dinner tonight, and the rest arriving tomorrow.
Here's a typical streetcar street in a shopping district. There are other configurations on different street types that I'll try to get examples of later in the week. Note that the purpose of this street is much more about access to the local uses than it is to moving people between parts of the city. It might be comparable to say 11th Ave in the Pearl District.
Here are some differences from what we do in Portland:
1) Streetcars operate in one direction and only have doors on one side.
2) Streetcars have up to five articulated sections compared to three in Portland.
3) Streetcars have a conductor who sells tickets.
4) There is a single track for travel in both directions, except at stops where it splits to two tracks.
5) Streetcars, autos and bikes (carefully) share the center of the street. Pedestrians rule most of the street and rather freely invade the center travel lane.
We start our meetings with local experts tomorrow and I'll be sharing the learnings here.
October 30, 2005 8:03 PM
Whhooeey! How impressive! Not an automobile in sight!
Hey, give it up and build us some better roads!
October 30, 2005 8:37 PM
rex Burkholder Says:
yes, but a lot of people. what are cities for anyway, people or cars?
October 31, 2005 6:18 AM
It's funny to hear people in Portland complain about roads. If there's anything I noticed, it's that you're pretty spoiled in the public sector.
October 31, 2005 9:33 AM
Lenny Anderson Says:
If one travels out into the suburban ring around Amsterdam, the landscape changes to roads, highrises and not much charm. A subway line serves those to the east if I recall; maybe its been extended elsewhere since I was there in the 80's. Holland has plenty of roads, freeways, etc., just not through the heart of cities. Land is too valuable to waste that way.
My first ride on the trams in the central city was just one gasp after another as cyclists and pedestrians darted across the tracks. But the trams move slowly and the populace is accustomed to them.
October 31, 2005 12:35 PM
lynn Harritt Says:
look at all those people! It makes me nostalgic for living in a real city.
and look at those low low curbs, very sexy. our thinking here seem to be too much about keeping car space and people space separate rather than creating urban space that is scaled to people and not autos.
October 31, 2005 3:12 PM
Todd Boulanger Says:
In this photo - if it were at night...the tracks have little LED lights that flash to warn peds and mixed traffic of the approaching trams.
Perhaps Portland (MAX or streetcar) could do the same in areas with a history of ped and tram collissions - black spot sites.
(Rex - I got your note...so i assume it is only the rear part of the chain guard you need... I will try but I might have to buy the whole thing.)