Fast and safe cycle route along the Amstel

Amsterdam's most important bicycle route in the southeast area towards the city centre runs along the east bank of the Amstel river, via the Weesperzijde street and the Amstel street. This car-free route serving approximately 30,000 cyclists a day, is one of the busiest cycling routes of Amsterdam. Below you will find more information about the origin of this safe cycling route.

Changing the main route for the car

The Amstel route used to be an essential connection for all traffic; though, a lot changed with the opening of the Wibautstraat as a major car route. Through traffic on the Weesperzijde was banned with various 'cuts' (car-free sections), thereby making Weesperzijde a car-free zone as well as a safe and pleasant bicycle route.

Weesperzijde 1974 B00000012329.jpg Weesperzijde, 1974. Photo: Amsterdam City Archives
Weesperzijde knip 2019 ML.JPG Weesperzijde, same location 2019. Photo: Marjolein de Lange

Traffic lights (almost) unnecessary

Because of the low number of cars, cyclists and cars can share the road and traffic lights are hardly needed. The Berlage Bridge is the only intersection with traffic lights along this 2.5 kilometre (km) route which makes the bicycle route fast, convenient and safe. A segregated bicycle path such as that along the east side of the Amstel River, provides an alternative cycling trail to the route along the main road for cars.

Intersections with other bicycle routes

However, bicycle routes are never "finished" as intersections with other populous bicycle routes create a new challenge. As a result, the intersection with the Binnenring (Sarphatistraat) has been recently redesigned in 2021. Also, temporary measures have been taken at the junction with the Nieuwe Amstelbrug. On a trial basis, concrete blocks have been positioned to define the cycle routes and the storage space available at the traffic lights have been increased.

Cycle along the Weesperzijde in 360 degrees with our partner Vélo Mondial!

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Do you have examples of cycle routes along a river or canal in your town? How do they work? What measures have been taken to promote cycling and reduce car traffic? Please, share this with the community via Disqus below!


Weesperzijde, Amstel Amsterdam

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