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Amsterdam - The City of Amsterdam has closed one of its busiest streets to cars for six weeks as part of a trial to investigate the effects on factors such as safety, air quality and noise. Weesperstraat in the Dutch city will be closed from 6am to 11pm daily until 23 July.

The City of Amsterdam has closed one of its busiest streets, Weesperstraat, to cars for six weeks as part of an experiment to investigate the effects on traffic volume, safety, air quality and noise, according to an article from the platform Cities Today. Until 23 July, the street will be blocked with a combination of concrete flower pots, green planters and other types of barriers from 6am until 11pm. It will remain open to emergency vehicles and public transport. 

Melanie van der Horst, Amsterdam’s Traffic Alderman, said in the article that the move was a response to requests for measures against the nuisance caused by traffic congestion. However, “many taxi drivers and entrepreneurs are concerned,” she said. Based on research and traffic modelling, the municipality expects that more than 40 per cent of the cars affected by the closure will reach their destination just as quickly or faster via a different route, writes Cities Today. 

If there is no change to current policies it is projected that car traffic will grow by 40 per cent by 2048, according to the article. The experiment results will be presented to the city council in November. ce/em