Cycle route improved with faster ferry and ultra-wide cycle crossing
The cycle route between the North of Amsterdam and the inner city has been improved. From now on, the ferry crosses the IJ ‘river’ in a straight line, making the travel time shorter. The cycle crossing across the De Ruijterkade which is connected with the new ferry plaza has been made ultra-wide. It may be the widest cycle crossing worldwide.
It’s getting increasingly busy on and around the IJ, so Amsterdam is working on structural improvement of the IJ crossing. Two new bridges will be built across the IJ, but this will start after 2025. Measures are necessary for now too. Like optimizing the ferries. In that context, the IJ ferry has been ‘straightened out’ with a new ferry plaza which was opened on Monday 28 February.
Before, the IJ ferry made a wide bend on its way to the IJplein in the North. In order to improve this and make it go faster, the landing place of the IJ ferry has been moved to the East (location: 52.37838704514447, 4.90538236473101). Now the ferry can cross the IJ in a straight line, shortening the travel time from 8 to 6 minutes. This enables more crossings: 10 instead of 8 per hour. Moreover, the new ferry plaza is better connected to the East entrance, improving the cycle route to the inner city.
New ‘land’ in Amsterdam
To build the new ferry plaza, the quay has been expanded with two ferry landing stages and a square for cyclists and pedestrians. The area has been designed as a shared space, a pedestrian area where cyclists are allowed. Here pedestrians and cyclists arrange things (like who gets priority) among themselves without special rules or markings. The transition from cycle paths to the shared space is marked with a speed bump, limiting the cyclists’ speed.
Widest cycle crossing worldwide?
Cyclists on their way to the East entrance and the inner city have to cross the busy De Ruijterkade. With the new ferry landing, it can suddenly become very busy with cyclists. To make place for them, the crossing and the bike waiting area have been made very wide. This may now be the widest cycle crossing worldwide.
The work on the plaza and the bridge has been done mainly from the water. This enabled traffic on the De Ruijterkade to continue during the work. The new ferry plaza is new ‘land’, a large plate on poles above the water. Contractor BAM made this nice picture: