The Oudegracht ("old canal") runs through the heart of Utrecht. As in Strasbourg, the canal is considerably lower than the streets above, making it easy to bridge.
Basements open out onto the quay, so that freight can be unloaded directly from barges into the buildings. This arrangement is similar to the proposal for metro-freight, in which the freight delivery trams run well below street level and can deliver containers onto platforms that open directly into building basements.
The temporary-looking wooden stairs giving access to the quay really should be replaced by brick structures, but they are still there even today.
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