The Dutch love rules. This is what many expats say. And it’s true. In Amsterdam we love rules. Amsterdam is a small, dense and liberal city. We have a right. To many things. We get annoyed when someone or something gets in our way. We are not afraid to speak our minds when that happens.
When complaining about those little things in Amsterdam, it’s really nice when the law is at your side. So we love making new laws! Here we are:
5 new rules in 2018, that make Amsterdam a better place
1. You can’t feed the ducks in Amsterdam
Ducks and birds are nice, in Amsterdam there are many and the Amsterdam people love to feed them. However, there is a big rat problem in Amsterdam. Amsterdam rats feed themselves on leftovers, and make their homes in the old sewer system. They can pop up in your kitchen cabinet and spread diseases. Rats in Amsterdam prosper because of the recent mild winters and because we feed the birds.
So, as of 2018, you can’t feed the ducks in Amsterdam! The rule only applies in certain areas and there will be a sign placed at these areas.
Amsterdam has already set up a campaign with a toolkit, banners and and educational kit to teach especially children in schools that feeding bread and french fries to pigeons, ducks and birds is not really a proper diet.
2. You can’t enter Amsterdam with an old car or motor cycle
Like other any city, Amsterdam suffers from smog. Carbon emission from traffic fumes, especially from older cars, cause lung diseases and cancer and contribute to climate change. To cut down on air pollution in Amsterdam, from 2017 trucks and old vans are no longer allowed inside the city centre of Amsterdam (inside RingA10).
As of 2018, polluting cars cannot also not get a parking license. More good news: Amsterdam city also bans dirty taxis, touring cars and motor cycles older than 2010.
3. Yeah! Motor cycles and scooter off the bicycle lane!
This one was always difficult to explain to tourists and expats in Amsterdam: why do the motor cycles ride on the bike lane? And why don’t they wear helmets? Well, there are two types of motor cycles. Motor cycles that can go max. 45 km per hour cannot ride on the bike lane. And they must wear a helmet.
Motor cycles and scooters that can go max. 25 km per hour must always drive on the bike lane. This is for safety reasons. A helmet is not necessary. (You can notice the difference between the 2 motor cycle because the 45 km/h cycle must have a yellow license plate.)
80% of motor cycles go faster than 25km/h
In Amsterdam, the slow motor cycle is hugely popular. And they don’t abide the 25 km/h rule. Of the 30.000 slower motor bikes in Amsterdam, 80% goes faster than 25 km per hour. You can image the huge nuisance that causes with normal bikers on the bike lane.
It’s taken years of protesting and gathering signatures of Amsterdam’s greener political parties, but it’s finally happened: from 2018, the Dutch national government allows cities to override the bike lane rule for slow motor bikes.
Amsterdam has already announced it will direct slow motor cycles and scooters to the normal road. That means they will also have to start wearing helmets. In 2018, bikers in Amsterdam take their bike lane back!
UPDATE: This will be changes that make Amsterdam a better place in 2019.
4. Indoor bike parking free first 24 hours
More good news for bikers in Amsterdam! In many Amsterdam indoor bike parkings, you can park your bike for free the first 24 hours. If you need to park more than a day, it costs 1,25. All bike parkings in Amsterdam are owned by the city of Amsterdam or public transport companies. They are working towards a communal policy for bike parking.
Biking in Amsterdam is getting more and popular and parking your bike, especially at a station is getting more and more problematic. The parking garages for bikes that will be free on January 1, 2018 are: Pathé de Munt, Paradiso, Zuidplein, Station RAI en Vijzelstraat.
5. Yes, I want advertising in my mailbox!
What do the Ja – Nee stickers on the doors in Amsterdam mean? They tell the mailman and -woman whether you want to receive unsolicited mail in your mail.
There used to be 2 options:
Yes/No for unaddressed mail (‘ongeadresseerd reclamedrukwerk) and Yes/No for unaddressed newspapers (Huis aan huis bladen).
As of 2018, the system will change and a new sticker is introduced. If you have no sticker at all, you are supposed to not receive anything.
If you want to receive something you place the sticker that says what you want. The stickers are to fight the spreading of printed advertising. Thank goodness for this new system because it solves a really big issue. Or something.