These are some of the measures in the pedestrian plan for Maastricht’s city centre. The plan was drawn up over the past few days by an official working group in consultation with representatives of businesses. John Aarts, the Executive Councillor responsible for Hospitality, is pleased with the result: “The corona working group brings parties together, and then we can make rapid progress.} With this pedestrian plan we can welcome people to Maastricht but still draw their attention to the measures put in place by our national government. The Maastricht Angel now doesn’t just welcome them to the boulevard along what used to be the A2 motorway (the 'Green Carpet') but also guides them in the city centre.”
The Executive Councillor responsible for the Economy, Vivianne Heijnen, adds that mass visiting in the city centre isn’t an option, and will remain so for the present: “The rule is ‘social distancing’ and avoiding crowding. But it’s in fact getting busier in the city centre. That’s good for businesses, but crowding needs to be managed effectively.” This also means that various (narrow) streets will be made one-way: Muntstraat, Spilstraat, Nieuwstraat, Platielstraat, Achter het Vleeshuis, Wolfstraat, and Koestraat. For streets where there are cafes and restaurants serving outdoors, we are still looking for a solution, partly based on the hospitality plan that’s currently being drawn up. Cycling is no longer permitted on Oeverwal (along the east side of the river) or on the Hoeg Brögk bridge.
In addition to the route lines and Angels painted on the street, there will also be Hospitality Guides at times when more visitors are expected, who will alert people to the measures that are in place. The measures will also be explained on information panels and traffic signs at various places in the city centre. These are being installed in cooperation with the Accessible Maastricht [Maastricht Bereikbaar] and Maastricht Marketing organisations. Finally, there will be a system of waiting boxes (information in Dutch only) at shops, where customers will need to wait if it’s too busy inside the shop concerned. City Centre Manager Paul ten Haaf adds: “We have a joint responsibility here: The City itself where safety is concerned, and all of us together as regards receiving our customers. I think this plan is an effective way of ensuring that joint responsibility.” Spraying the Angels and the route lines to follow will start next Monday and the signs will be installed. Maastricht city centre needs to be ready for the corona measures before the Ascension Day holiday (Thursday 21 May).