Norway's capital to permanently ban cars from its downtown area within 4 years

Oslo, Norway
CC BY-SA 3.0 Wikimedia

What Paris does, Oslo can do better, apparently. Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, wants to make the city more "pedestrianized" and more bike-friendly, and has been fighting the smog caused by diesel vehicles, aiming to ban them by 2020. That's great, but apparently not enough for the Norwegian capital: The Oslo city council have said that cars - not just diesels - will be banned from central Oslo within 4 years (faster than Paris) to help reduce air pollution. When enacted, this will be the first comprehensive and permanent ban in a European capital.

But removing cars isn't enough if you don't boost the alternatives, so the city council also wants to build 60 kilometers (37 miles) of bike lanes by 2019, and will provide what it calls a "massive boost" to mass transit.

Oslo, NorwayWikimedia/CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

"We want to have a car-free centre," Lan Marie Nguyen Berg, lead negotiator for the Green Party in Oslo, told reporters. "We want to make it better for pedestrians, cyclists. It will be better for shops and everyone."

While private cars will be banned, buses will still be allowed, as well as trucks carrying goods to stores and vehicles for disabled people.

It'll be interesting to see if cities that have taken steps to limit cars in their downtown areas, like London with its congestion charge, will adopt full bans in Oslo's footsteps.

Norway flagNorway flag/Public Domain

Via The Independent

Tags: Norway | Transportation

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