Amsterdam is growing and the city is becoming increasingly busy. Good accessibility is crucial and the five Amsterdam tunnels are an important link in this process. Between now and 2025, the tunnels will be undergoing extensive renovations to prepare them for the future. Lisanne de Wijs, mobility manager for the Amsterdam tunnels programme, and Tim Fransen, community manager at Toogethr, speak about the mobility measures that are involved.

Future-proof tunnels

The Amsterdam tunnels programme ensures that the tunnels in Amsterdam will soon be ready for the future: safe to use, easy to operate and easy to maintain. Over the next few years, the Piet Hein Tunnel and the Arena Tunnel will be renovated and adjustments are already being made to the Michiel de Ruijter Tunnel. The traffic control centre, where the tunnels are operated and monitored, will also be renovated.

Smart mobility measures Piet Hein tunnel

Lisanne is involved in the renovation of the Piet Hein Tunnel. As mobility manager, She is responsible for developing and deploying mobility measures. Lisanne: 'From 25 June 2021 to 30 September 2022, the Piet Hein Tunnel will be renovated, installations will be replaced and the controls and operating system will be updated. A major renovation of a much-used tunnel. Before we had to deal with COVID, around 30,000 cars were passing through the Piet Hein tunnel every day. In order to keep Amsterdam accessible and to minimise inconvenience to road users, visitors to the city and the business community, we have to look for smart mobility solutions to avoid 1,500 rush-hour traffic jams during the renovation phase. We will offer road users various alternatives: detours, not travelling, travelling at a different time of day, travelling by alternative means of transport or a combination of these options.

‘For instance, we are working with the Breikers Foundation to help employers encourage employees to (continue to) work at home or to travel to work outside rush hour. With GVB, Amsterdam's public transport company, we are investigating how to encourage people to take the tram more often. Tram 26 (the IJtram) will continue to run through the Piet Hein tunnel except for a few weekends. The P+R locations near the Piet Hein tunnel and in Amsterdam North also offer good opportunities. In addition, we are working with shared mobility providers Felyx and Check to make shared scooters available to road users. Encouraging people to cycle is another mobility solution that we are investing heavily in. We entered into a partnership with Toogethr at the end of 2020.’

Drivers on the bicycle

Tim: 'Toogethr is helping Lisanne and the Amsterdam tunnels programme to get as many drivers out of their cars onto their bikes. Through the Toogethr Cycles-app, we are working to stimulate the target group to use their bikes. We are doing this through creative campaigns, positive messaging and rewarding bike rides that avoid the Piet Hein tunnel. In addition, cyclists can do much more in the app, such as undertaking personal challenges to get on their bikes more often and pursue a healthy lifestyle.’

Ready for the future

‘With the cycling promotion programme, we are mainly focusing on two target groups', adds Lisanne. ‘These target groups are commuters (via employers in the vicinity of the tunnel) and residents of IJburg and Zeeburgereiland. We are doing this through various promotional activities ranging from online marketing to site visits and even directly approaching residents. We are also working together with Gumtree Creatieve Communicatie which has developed the creative concept for us. In the course of 2021, there will also be e-bike trials for the target groups. With all these mobility solutions and communications, we are trying to minimise the inconvenience for the surrounding area and road users.’

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