Ferdinand Bolstraat step by step safer and better

Ferdinand Bolstraat links the southern neighbourhoods to the city centre. It has lots of functions but there is only about 22 metres of width. In the 1970’s active citizens protested for more safety. And this led to a cut for cars at the northern end of the street at in the 1980’s. But safety and lack of space remained an issue. Major road works for a new metro line helped to reduce car space one step further. Find out how this opportunity helped to improve safety and liveability in Ferdinand Bolstraat.

Protest for more safety

In the 1970’s, civil protest for more safety led to a cut for cars at the northern end of Ferdinand Bolstraat.

Ferdinand Bolstraat 1974 Nationaal Archief h04_h4.jpg Protesters block Ferdinand Bolstraat with car wrecks, 1974. Photo: National Archives

The cut for cars helped reduce through traffic. But further on in the street cars were still taking up lots of space and causing difficulties for cyclists and pedestrians. Taking out car parking would help. But that was politically difficult, as in most streets.

Ferdinand Bolstraat 1982 010122031220.jpg Ferdinand Bolstraat with lots of space taken by cars. Photo: Amsterdam city archives, 1982

Work on new metro line offers opportunity

Around 2006 the northern part of Ferdinand Bolstraat was closed for cars to build a station of new metro line Noord/Zuidlijn. As the street is so narrow, the two tubes of the metro are built above one another. At depths of 16 and 26 metres.

In 2016, when the work on the metro was completed, city council decided to not bring back cars in this part of Ferdinand Bolstraat. This wasn’t too hard a decision, as cars hadn’t been able to use the street for nearly 10 years. Now there is finally space for cyclists, pedestrians and the tram. Now only licensed cars for deliveries can enter.

Ferdinand Bolstraat 2015 ca richting_picoplein van gemeente website.jpg Animation of layout of Ferdinand Bolstraat that was built in 2016. Image: Municipality of Amsterdam

Near the entrances of the metro station bike parkings are built. Some 1000 bike parking places are available for both metro passengers as visitors in the area.

Lessons learnt

Long lasting road works can be an opportunity for improvements. Such as taking out - or rather: not bringing back - space for cars.

Our questions

Do you know places that were made car quiet after long lasting road works? Or places where this could be done? Share your ideas via Disqus!


Ferdinand Bolstraat Amsterdam

Ready to visit Amsterdam? The city of sharing bicycle knowledge, insight and experience!

Contact us

By visiting this website you agree with the use of anonymous cookies that are used for the functioning of this website. No private data will be stored whatsoever.