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We need more parking! More parking for the King!

As you might know, Parking Network is located in the Netherlands. And this year is a very special year for the Netherlands: Two months ago our queen announced on national television that she would abdicate on the next Queen’s Day, 30 April 2013, after 33 years on the throne and just days before her 75th birthday. Her oldest son, Prince Willem-Alexander, will become the first King of the Netherlands in 123 years. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event for most of us! Is that a reason to party, or is that a reason to party?

Not everyone in the Netherlands is fond of our Royal family, but everybody wants to join in the celebration. On April 30th they expect thousands of people in Amsterdam, and a lot of them travel by car. It’s a fact that every annual Queen’s Day celebration lots of people travel by car to Amsterdam. This year, they expect even more people. Not just because of the inauguration of our new King, but also because Willem-Alexander and his wife Maxima (who is very beloved throughout the country) will make a boat trip around the IJ in Amsterdam. Put these two special events together and even more people will try to catch a glimpse of the royal couple.

In order to prevent traffic congestion in the residential areas, the city will add additional parking spaces. Also it might encourage people to go by car if they know there’ll be enough parking spaces. This takes some pressure off the train traffic.

On Amsterdam Central station it can get really crowded, so I’m not surprised the city prefers people to travel by car. On Queen’s Day 2010, people had to wait at the train station for a very long time. It became a total chaos when some people got tired of waiting and pulled the emergency brake so the train doors would open. Within minutes all people were walking on the tracks, creating dangerous situations.

On Queen’s Day there will be free parking at municipal lots and on-street. It is possible that some commercial parking lots do charge a fee. The total costs of the festivities are estimated at 7 million Euro. Most money is spend on security, like crowd management. On the day itself, April 30th, there will be around 9000 police officers present in and around Amsterdam.

Imagine that you’re the one who has to organize the parking around this event. How would you handle this? What would you advise the city of Amsterdam?

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