Mascha ten Bruggencate, a city administrator who has been tasked with carrying out the new policies, said there was an obvious place to start. “The red-light district is symbolic of the problem,” she said.
On a recent Saturday night, Stoofsteeg, an alley in the district lined by red-lighted windows, was so crowded with tourists gawking at the women on show that walking 50 yards or so took at least 15 minutes of pushing and shuffling. A couple with a stroller gave up after a few minutes.
Last year, 20 million tourists visited Amsterdam. During the busiest times of the weekend, as many as 6,000 visitors can pass through that alley — or attempt to — every hour, according to city estimates.
Residents have complained that there are not enough police officers to guarantee everyone’s safety, and that De Wallen is now so overcrowded that ambulances