Oslo, Norway is banning all private vehicles in its city center by the year 2019.
Remember when Paris banned cars for one day in September to reduce the city’s carbon footprint and raise awareness about sustainability? The results of that experiment were so successful, other cities are now considering going car-free permanently!
Oslo, Norway is banning all private vehicles in its city center by the year 2019, reports Reuters. In addition, the city will add 60 km of bicycle lanes by the same year as a bid to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and reduce car use by a third within the next 15 years. 2019 also happens to be the year of city re-elections.
The change was made possible after the city elected the leftist Labour Party September 2015, who teamed up with the Green Party and the Socialist Left.
Buses and trams will continue taking people to the city’s center, which has around 1,000 residents. However, by 2019, the 90,000 people who work in Oslo’s center will find themselves biking, walking, or using public transportation to commute to work.
Vehicles transporting disabled people and bringing food to businesses will still be allowed in the area, the three parties said in a joint statement. And to people who are less inclined to pedal or ride public transportation, the city will subsidize the cost of an electric bike. Everybody wins!
Across the city, the Labour Party aims to reduce car traffic by 20 percent by 2019 and 30 percent by 2030. Oslo will also give its public transportation system a “massive boost”, say elected officials.
Many shops are concerned that decreased traffic will hurt their businesses, as eleven of Oslo’s 57 shopping centers are located in the area affected by the ban. But Lan Marie Nguyen Berg, Oslo’s Green Party lead negotiator, believes the change will benefit everyone. She told reporters: “We want to make it better for pedestrians, cyclists. It will be better for shops and everyone.”
“In 2030, there will still be people driving cars, but they must be zero-emissions,” Nguyen Berg said.
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