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.


5 responses to “An Amsterdam Streetcar Street”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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