Aug 16, 2022

Pleasant and safe cycling on the Inner Ring

Clean emission-free transport – bicycle and tram – has to get the upper hand in Amsterdam. At the same time, the municipality wants to make the inner city as car-free as possible. The Inner Ring project shows how you can tackle these ambitions: lots of space for bicycles, public transport and greenery.

The Inner Ring is a semi-circle around the centre of the city, a fast east-west route for cyclists and public transport. It is more than 7 kilometers long and runs via the Czaar Peterstraat, Sarphatistraat, Weteringschans and the Marnixstraat. Many streets in Amsterdam are too narrow for all traffic modalities, so the modalities are divided. Parallel to the Inner Ring runs the S100 (Mauritskade, Stadhouderskade, Nassaukade). This road is intended for car traffic, whereas the Inner Ring is intended for bicycles, public transport and destination traffic. You can read more about the origin of the inner ring in this article.

Bicycle street

Where possible, the Inner Ring is transformed into a bicycle street with a free-lying public transport track. There is a speed limit of 30 km/h in a bicycle street. The use of red tarmac – the colour that is used for bicycle lanes in Amsterdam and the Netherlands – gives a clear signal to motorists: you are a guest here, this road is intended for cyclists. As you can see in the video below, cyclists experience the bicycle street as very pleasant.

Bike along on the inner ring road Amsterdam

No obstacles for public transport

Because tram traffic has increased on the Inner Ring after the North-South metro started driving, it is important that public transport can flow through easily. To enable this easy flow, free-lying public transport tracks are made without obstacles for trams or buses. All stops are made level with the entrances of trams and buses, making them easily accessible.


2016 saw the start of a pilot with the Sarphatistraat as a bicycle street. This pilot was so successful that it was decided to transform the Inner Ring to a bicycle street where possible. The lessons learnt from the successful pilot with a bicycle street were used designing the other sections of the Inner Ring. The bicycle street with lots of space for bicycles and public transport is used as a starting point for looking for tailor-made solutions, appropriate to the situation of each section of the Inner Ring.


More public transport and more bicycle traffic demands safe intersections. Therefore, a number of busy intersections are improved, on the east side (Weesperstraat, Frederiksplein, Weteringcircuit) as well as the west side (Elandsgracht en Marnixplein). Other crossings along the route are still to be improved.


The Inner Ring project consists of several subprojects, all with their own planning schedule. At this moment, more than half of the project has been completed. Especially on the east side, between the Alexanderplein and the Weteringschans, you can already have a lovely bike ride along accessible public transport stops and extra greenery. The renovation of the Weteringschans is currently in progress. Part of the new bicycle street, between Weteringschans and Spiegelgracht, is already in use. If everything goes according to plan, the Weteringschans, including the renovation of the Museum Bridge, will be completed by the end of June 2023. The outer parts of the Inner Ring, the Czaar Peterstraat to the east and the Marnixstraat to the west, are still to be renovated. The completion of the innovation of the Inner Ring is expected to be in 2027.

I Photo: Edwin van Els

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