There’s been a one-way traffic ban on Demer since 8 May during the busy market hours.
That’s driving many potential customers away and only serves to spread out the crowds. That’s the opinion of several market vendors who want to get rid of the ban. But it doesn’t look like they’ll get their way.
The municipality introduced the measure to contain the expected crowds on Demer on market days. On Tuesdays, there are only a few meters of walking space between the market stalls. That makes keeping the 1,5m distance all that more difficult.
Shoppers coming from 18 Septemberplein can simply walk into Demer. However, a ‘city hosts’ team denies access to those who want to enter the area from the south at Vrijstraat. People are asked to walk around Hermanus Boexstraat instead.
Studio040 couldn’t see if the ban had actually led to a significant decline in customers on Tuesday afternoon. However, it was noticeable that the detours threatened to become clogged with the diverted foot traffic. They were also causing larger crowds at Markt and near the McDonalds.
That’s something market vendor, Paul Bol, has also noticed. “Everyone who comes here can see this isn’t working. Reverse the decision. Just lead people to either side of the market stalls. That can be done very safely.”
Councillor Ruud van Acquoij (50PLUS) also wants the relevant councillor to take another good look at the situation. “She’ll conclude that we’ve taken our good intentions too far. This measure is only hurting the vendors. That’s not the intention.”
But, for now, the city council remains convinced of the ban’s usefulness. Also, they didn’t take the decision alone. They consulted both the City Centre’s Businesspeople’s Platform (SDBE) and the market administrator.
“We understand that not everyone’s happy with the situation. But, at this stage of the pandemic, we have to keep this measure for a few more Tuesdays. For the sake of everyone’s health,” says a council representative.
Editor: Melinda Walraven