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Sidewalk etiquette

I have just recently moved to the Amsterdam. I have some observations from a resident/tourist point of view that I'd like to share. I'm sure this applies to many cities.
The area where I live, The 9 Streets, is very old. Consequently the streets are very narrow and the sidewalks narrowerer still. The streets are just wide enough for one auto or truck at a time. Often the delivery/service trucks are parked half on the street, half on the sidewalk, which allows other cars, bikes, scooters, pedestrians to skinny by.
My observation is this: often I see tourists (not just Americans)blocking a sidewalk at a corner or on a bridge to take a group photo or to consult their map or Smart phone. This forces the pedestrians into the streets. This is really dangerous given the bike, scooter, auto, truck traffic that is already whizzing by.
There are no traffic signs at the corners. Some of the streets are one way,but they are not marked.
So my plea is, just be cognizant of your surroundings. Of course you want to take that once in a lifetime photo on one of the bridges, but look around and choose your timing.

Thank you.

Posted by
141 posts

Entryways, narrow passages, stairway landings and the tops of escalators also seem to be the place to meet and greet, loiter and tarry, snap a photo.
Our situational awareness just seems to slip away sometimes when we see a shiny object.
Afterwards, some folks are left wondering where their wallet went.

Posted by
175 posts

Thank you for letting me know about this! I will hopefully see The Nine Streets this summer, so this is good information.

Posted by
2704 posts

And add the priority of bicyclists to the space and it is a challenge to know where one can walk, let alone stop to get your bearings. Bad enough for 1 person, but 2 or 3 chatty friends become a huge impediment.

Posted by
10244 posts

Bicyclists make crossing the street in Amsterdam, well, exciting.