The virus vs. cars

Wednesday, Apr 22, 2020

from this morning’s Playbook:

MOVE OVER, CARS: Now look at this creative use of the pandemic: The city of Brussels will give priority to those moving on foot or by bike throughout its entire city center — anything inside the petite ceinture ring road — from May. There will be a 20 kilometer per hour speed limit for vehicles.

The goal is to give people more space in the sometimes narrow streets of the inner city and make it easier for people to respect social distancing rules. But if it also helps people get used to the current, very pedestrian friendly, state of street coexistence, or persuades them to make more of their errands on foot or by bike, Socialist Mayor Philippe Close and his Green coalition partners will be the last ones to complain. These are new rules that are likely to outlast the lockdown. More here from Aitor Hernández-Morales.

This is smart and much overdue. One of the most starteling realisations of the whole COVID-19 situation is how much nicer the center of Amsterdam has become without all the car traffic that is usually clogging the place. I have wondered for a long time why on earth non-residents can still enter the center of Amsterdam by car. So i really hope that Amsterdam (and other cities) will use the crisis to radically limit the amount of vehicular trafic in the city center.