The new tunnel for walking and cycling
under Amsterdam’s Central Station is finally open. The tunnel gives a direct access
to the waterfront behind the station… where the ferries to Amsterdam North
depart and arrive. Building a tunnel right under the station hall
was quite a task that took a very long time. The other end was already clearly visible
years ago. But there was a complicating factor
that prolonged the waiting. The car tunnel at the
other end had to be finished first… to make a safe car-free exit possible. And so the tunnel was boarded up even though
it was ready to be used. After a two-year delay
the tunnel has finally been opened. You can now walk and ride directly
to the ferries at the other end. The tunnel got the name ‘Cuyperspassage’
after the architect of the 1880s station building. The backside of Amsterdam Central Station
is now a very modern building. When you walk to the 17th century
city centre of Amsterdam… the tiles on the wall begin to reveal
a 17th century ships’ scene in 70,000 handmade Delft blue tiles. The tiles were made in Friesland and the
design by Irma Boom draws a lot of attention. Many people take a lot of
pictures of the bright scene. The contrast with the dark cycle part
of the tunnel couldn’t be bigger. That is done deliberately: it will keep people walking
on the light side. The steel grating on the wall and ceiling covers
a soft black material that absorbs sounds, to improve the acoustics in the tunnel. The tunnel ends in a shared space zone. Something a lot of people disagree with. They fear that walking and cycling in the same space will lead to accidents. The speed of cycling is supposed to be decreased
by nasty speed bumps. You find them at every cycle way
leading to the shared zone. But it may not be
such a very strange idea. With every ferry leaving from a different quay
the desire lines in this area change constantly and in a shared zone
you are allowed to go as you please. Most people like to take the most direct
line from their ferry to the tunnel and they are now allowed to do that. This little girl already got separated
from her dad but she finally managed to get
through all the pedestrians to reach the cycleway
leading to the tunnel. On the opening day a lot of people
were taking pictures. But the novelty will soon wear off. This is simply a very convenient connection
from the ferries to the city center and back again This tunnel will be used well,
day and night.