Stockhom Cyclists Give The City Low Marks

Stockholm city is rated poor among cyclists. Because of this, the city's bike plan will be redone next year and transportation planners will try to find ways of making it easier to bike in the inner city.
October 30, 2004, 11am PDT | Abhijeet Chavan | @legalaidtech
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English Translation:

“Cyklister ger city lågt betyg”
Cyclists give the city low marks”)

The city center has received low marks by the city’s cyclists. That is why the bicycle plan for Stockholm will be redone next year and transportation plans will try to find solutions that make is easier to bike in the city.

Almost 700 cyclists have answered surveys and given points-of-view in the most comprehensive bike study that Stockholm city has ever done. Cyclists have contributed with a level of fervor that the administrators at the investigative and statistical division of the government have never seen.

Among all the cyclists’ suggestions for improvement there are two points which transportation planners have taken particular notice of. The first is that Stockholm’s cyclists seem to bike longer distances than before thought. Every third cyclist that came in to fill out surveys was out on a bike trip longer than 10 km (6 miles).

“There has always been the general assumption that the bike is seldom used for trips longer than 3-5 km [2-3 miles]. This new information means that we must work harder with neighboring counties and The National Road Administration. Bikeways can’t just end abruptly at the county line or at a highway,” stressed Krister Isaksson, traffic engineer in the streets and right-of-way office.

The other is that the city center completely dominates the conversation when cyclists talk about where it is difficult or dangerous to bike or tricky to find someplace to park a bike.

Of course, there are a number who complain about difficulties biking in Skanstull, on Göta Street, at Nortull and around Odenplan. But these complaints are nothing compared to the storm of criticism aginst the city. And the worst complaints, according to the cyclists, come from Birger Jarls Street, followed by Sture Street, Strureplan, Kings Street and Vasa Street.

“We have certainly come to understand that it is a pain to be a cyclist in the city. This has made us more sensitive and eager about continuing to work on making it possible to bike safely in several locations in the city,” said Krister Isaksson.

Well before Christmas Vasa Street, south of Master Samuels Street, will become safer for cyclists. The bike study will bring about a new bike plan for the rest of the city center in 2005.

“It is obvious that the city is the hardest because competition for space is the most intense there. But we can’t, however, just say it’s impossible to do anything and then sit down and twiddle our thumbs,” said Krister Isaksson.

The study also revealed that a majority of cyclists feel that Stockholm is generally a safe place to bike. Though, quite a few feel insecure in bike lanes between parked cars and moving traffic.

Anders Sundström

English Translation of Graphic entintled “Så är det att cykla i Stockholms innerstad” (Biking in Stockholms City Center):

Around 700 bikers participated in a survey study for the investigative and statistical office in Stockholm. The diagrams below show the percent who agreed with the following statements:

It is safe to ride on bikeways: 42%
It is safe to ride in bike lanes: 10%
It is safe to ride in traffic: 3%
There is ample room on bikeways: 14%
There is ample room in bike lanes: 4 %
The traffic environment is accommodating to cyclists: 0%
Traffic rules are easy to follow for cyclists: 28%
A bike is the quickest way to travel in the inner city: 61%

Translation by Carl Morgan

Thanks to Carl Morgan

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, October 28, 2004 in Dagens Nyheter
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