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Videos from Stockholm, Malmö & Copenhagen: Featuring CPH Driver Patience, Vision Zero and NYC Bike Lane future?

Our newest video showing new-fangled bike stuff from Copenhagen was such an immediate hit (30K plays in 3 days!) I decided not to wait to post a "bonus" video showing the respectful cooperation between turning drivers & cyclists. Why? Well we all know the dreaded right hook collisions that happen often in the U.S. and other places.  In Copenhagen they're almost unheard of which is thanks to the education drivers must go thru and the traffic safety all residents get taught while in grade school. Plus: with a bike mode share of 42% that means that most drivers are likely cyclists sometime during the week.

The primary goal of this Streetfilms swing was to visit Stockholm, Sweden and talk to residents & experts about walking, biking, transportation and livability. Also: Vision Zero, a term which has been embraced NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio as a program to cut the number of traffic deaths on the streets of New York. I was very lucky to have Mary Beth Kelly from Families for Safe Streets accompanying me and we met with Claes Tingvall, the Director of Traffic Safety at the Swedish Transport Administration. Above is that full interview, but you'll also be seeing him in at least one other Streetfilm in the near future.

DSC08951The above photo is from Stockholm and is what I envision as the future of NYC protected bike lanes. Recently, they've began a trial study in Södermalm on Götgatan Street, by upgrading an older, narrow bike lane (see it to left in photo) by removing a travel lane for cars and moving parking out, freeing up a wide space for bikes, which gets crowded at rush hour.

DSC08956It looks a lot like the typical NYC style Avenue except that every few feet there are small concrete barriers, something that is cheap, easily deployable and would be a nice deterrent we could use in NYC lanes.

DSC09059

The same street also offers something I found, well, bike-adorable (see above). Most bike travelers are familiar with the "Copenhagen left" style turns, which is rolling up to the light and waiting across the street for another green to make a left. This is typical in Stockholm. And on the same street Götgatan, they have recently installed turning wait areas on all four corners via a nicely crafted nook in the sidewalk!

Finally, I had intended to get to Malmö, Sweden for a full day since I have always heard so much great stuff, but thanks to a bad back, jet lag and a long train delay, I only got to stroll around for a few hours. But I still wanted to show what a peaceful place it is and put together this short montage of footage of my experience. I will have to go back.

5 Comments
  • PatricGSR94

    Ugh, bikes hidden behind parked cars and pedestrians crossing the bike path to get to and from the cars. It may work over there in Europe but us 'Mericans don't have the education and patience to make this an effective solution.

  • Tue

    Off course you do! Just do it :-)

  • http://gillinger.se/ Christian Gillinger

    One thing though: those "nooks" aren't new, they've been there for ages. Also, you can only fit one bike in them, so in everyday use cyclists tend to avoid them.

  • http://gillinger.se/ Christian Gillinger

    The problem with having it the other way around, eg cars on the inside, cyclists on the outside, is that motorists tend to use the cycle lane as a nifty place to double park. Also, in the winter the lane disappears under snow:

    http://www.cyklistbloggen.se/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/2012-12-12-13.07.06-copy.jpg

    https://scontent-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/t31.0-8/1402238_10151896632221005_839720259_o.jpg

  • jamesbeaz

    Love your videos. The difference between Copenhagen and the US, however, is the volume of vehicular traffic. Drivers can -- and will be patient -- when patience does not lead to intolerable delays. If we want to discipline our streets, we need to be willing to price gasoline -- via taxation -- at about $8-$10/gallon, which is the price in Denmark, Italy and many other European countries. Only a reduction in total vehicular traffic will allow us to devote more space to bikes and pedestrians. It's not a win-win-win situation. Drivers need to lose.