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Amsterdam Removed Parking — and the City Bloomed

Amsterdam shows how beautiful a street can be without on-street car storage. Photo: Clarence Eckerson Jr.

On my recent swing to The Netherlands, I definitely planned on following up on the news that the cycling haven would be removing from 10,000 to 11,000 parking spacesfrom the city's core.

I really only planned a very short 90-second video, but I realized this story was worth so much more. I got to talk to some amazing folks, including Zeeger Ernsting, a City Councilman for GroenLinks (Green Party), who discussed how the initiative came about. Ernsting advised me to check out the Frans Halsbuurt neighborhood, where an entire grid of streets now has virtually no parking, except for loading spaces (an extremely good idea!) and a few spaces for the disabled.

The transformation of the neighborhood looks amazing on the face of it — but is even more stark when you look back at the Google street view from 2012. Click forward year by year and you will see car parking slowly evaporate. As dramatic and lovely as this film makes it seem I must advise you: it is even more lovely, lush and livable. If you have a chance, go there. See it for yourself.

Before (2012).
Before (2012). The after is below. Photos: Google
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After.
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