News summary | May 2018
Written by @CathyCentral on 11/06/2018
A news summary for Amsterdam this month …
New city council releases plans for Amsterdam | The new coalition agreement is now known and should have wide-reaching consequences for all Amsterdammers.
- A more ambitious house-building target of 7,500 homes per year has been set, with 2,500 of these allocated for social housing. Teachers and nurses will get priority. Actions will also be taken to increase the amount of mid-priced homes and rentals. In and around Amsterdam, over 10,000 student residences will be created in the next four years.
- Investors will be discouraged with the introduction of a residence obligation: those who buy a house must also live there.
- Holiday rentals will be limited to a maximum of 30 days per year, but there may even be a ban in crowded neighbourhoods.
- Amsterdam will open a 24-hour shelter for asylum seekers who have exhausted all their legal options.
Traffic and transport
- The plan is to make the city center as car-free as possible.
- Parking spaces will disappear from the canals and in time, the city council wants to remove 7,000 to 10,000 parking places. Parking prices will rise to €7.50 per hour in places.
- The speed limit will be 30 km per hour in residential streets, as much as possible, with an 80 km per hour speed limit on the A10 ring road.
Other new measures
- There will be higher taxes for tourists, residents and businesses. The OZB rate will rise 2%in 2019 and then annually with inflation.
- Amsterdam must already be free of natural gas by 2040, which is 10 years earlier than the rest of the Netherlands. A €150m fund will be needed to meet this target.
- There will be a ban on the sale of fur, live lobsters and crabs.
Amsterdam needs €2b for trains | Yes, you heard that right, two billion euros. As reported by Het Parool newspaper, ProRail shared this dramatic assessment at the end of May, as part of their annual report. The number of rail passengers in the region continues to rise and this rise will only continue. The enormous investments are necessary to prevent Amsterdam from becoming congested and to maintain the liveability of the city. Tracks and stations in and around Amsterdam will be rebuilt, including additional lifts and escalators at Centraal Station, Zuid, Amstel and Sloterdijk. Train stations at Diemen, Weesp, Almere, Naarden, Bussum and Zaandam will also see changes. In addition, new bicycle parking facilities on Amstel and Sloterdijk will cost €30m and adding more stairs at Schiphol station will cost €40m. They didn’t seem to mention where this money would come from. (Source: https://s.parool.nl/s-a4599131/).
Beer bikes and tourist crowds now a problem in West | Since they were banned from the centrum, beer bikes are now annyong residents in Amsterdam West and East. In Amsterdam West, particularly, the management committee wants to add their own ban on beer bikes, and new catering outlets and tourists shops. Het Parool newspaper reports that local residents have noticed that crowds are increasing and many cafés, restaurants, hotels and coffee shops have been opened in West, near De Hallen, for example. Lots of complaints have been made about the beer bikes already. Locals are also concerned about the shrinking range of shops as catering outlets begin to dominate. (Source: https://s.parool.nl/s-a4597723/)
A flasher was spotted in the Westerpark on Wednesday 30 May | The Dutch term is potlood venter, meaning literally, “pencil vendor”. A flasher had also been arrested in the area earlier in the week. A description has been issued for a 40-year-old light-tinted man of Eastern European or Eastern descent. He is 1m80 tall, and was wearing a green shirt with white letters and beige cargo trousers. People who have seen something shoukd contact the police. (https://s.parool.nl/s-a4599125/)
Amsterdam is the most expensive city in Europe for hotel stays | Comparing the cost of a double room in hotels with three stars or more, in a central location, Amsterdam came out top of the list with the highest average price of €192 per night. The European cities of Copenhagen and Dublin came close behind. Istanbul had the cheapest hotel rooms in the city survey by Cheaprooms.com. (Source: Dutchnews.nl)
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Sources: Het Parool / AT5 / NLtimes.nl / Dutchnews.nl.