The city council sighs and complains about the amount of bikes in the city, removing them left and right for reasons unfathomable to Amsterdammers*.
The discussion about the bikes is an ongoing one – for the past ten years it was partly about the passage underneath the Rijksmuseum. Amsterdam cyclists protested against the cycle path underneath closing. It took forever, but they won. To the utter amazement of the architects and the frustration of the Rijksmuseum’s directors. There’s even a fanpage on Facebook: The Rijksmuseum, I’d love to cycle underneath it again. And now you can!
Most likely our councillors choose to forget it’s not the bikes that are taking up too much space – it’s the cars that flood the city. Just have a look at this Ed van der Elsken movie, filmed in 1965. Now compare that with our present day situation…
Ed van der Elsken, Amsterdam, 1965
*Here’s a promise I’ll write more about that another day.