Live webcam: balanced transportation porn

In the same way my morning cup of coffee jump starts my brain, my daily routine includes a quick peek at this live streaming traffic cam of Koningsplein Square in Amsterdam to get reaffirm my vision of what a balanced urban transportation network looks like.  For a couple of minutes I stare at the conflict free dance between people walking, people on bikes, motor vehicles and the trolley that takes place in this intersection every day. I have even seen horses pulling buggies. I can’t embed this video, but if you click on the still image below the video will open in a new tab in your browser.

Remember there is a time difference, so when I look at this in the morning, it is afternoon there. If you are reading this in the afternoon, it will be dark in Amsterdam, so visit again in the morning.

Click the photo above to open a link to the live webcam.

I just love how cars, motorcycles, bikes, mass transit and people walking all mix together so seamlessly as everyone shares the roadway. This system seems to be based on the principle that streets are for moving people and goods, and the most efficient methods for doing that get priority.  That means the trolley is on top, but it only comes through every few minutes. Motor vehicles seem to defer to people on bicycles, but walking is the primary mode of transportation.

Of course this is possible because the city is densely populated and they have prioritized people over motor vehicles.  Note there is pretty much no place to park a personal vehicle, but delivery trucks are allowed to park most anywhere, even on the Heiligeweg pedestrian mall. You can’t really see it, but this is also between two canals, Amsterdam’s water-based transportation network that was created primarily to move freight.

Bikes, boats, trolleys and people walking rule in this little window into my vision of urban transportation utopia. Like my morning jolt Courtesy of my bicycling pals at Alterra Coffee, this webcam helps me reminisce about my last trip to Amsterdam and Copenhagen and gets me fired up for my day of work advocating for a more balanced transportation system in my world. Happy Thursday.

Click on this Google map to explore the area around the intersection.

 

About Dave Schlabowske, Deputy Director

Dave was the first full-time staff member hired to open the Bike Fed's Milwaukee office 11 years ago. A former professional photographer and life-long Milwaukee resident, Dave lives with his wife Liz and daughter Frankie in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's west side.

5 thoughts on “Live webcam: balanced transportation porn

  1. Thanks for posting this Dave. This is fascinating. Interesting to note that almost no one seems to be holding cellphones and most of the bikes have upright handlebars, which means pedestrians and riders are acutely aware of their surroundings. Watching this scene is more relaxing than watching fish in a fish tank. Why? It’s the middle of a workday and no one is rushing!

    • Very perceptive comments Sally! My wife and I both have very upright bikes for the short distances we ride to work (less than four miles), to do errands and to go out. I have an old Schwinn road bike on which I put a tall stem and upright handlebars. My wife has a Workcycles Omafiets, a real Dutch bike, and it is even more upright than my Schwinn. I also have a fixie and some drop-bar bicycles, but I definitely feel much more aware of my surroundings when I am riding one of our upright bikes. The bikes are noticeably slower too, which reduces our speeds and further increases our reaction times. This is the norm in Europe, as you can see by that video.

      I love my fast bikes for rides more than ten miles, but for getting around town, nothing beats a slow upright bicycle.

  2. I’m ready to chuck it all and move to Amsterdam…..oh to live in a truly bike centric / friendly society…..

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