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Oslo to ban cars from city streets by 2019
#1
Oslo just declared that it will become the first major city to ban cars

Quote:It will also build more than 35 miles of bike lanes by 2019 and invest heavily in public transport. 

The permanent ban will affect the 350,000 or so car owners in the Norwegian capital.

Obviously, Europe is a different animal than North America, but nice to see a cultural shift in thinking.

I bet it will be a long time before a city in North America bans cars from its downtown.
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#2
Imagine just closing King off between Benton and Francis. What a difference that alone would make.
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#3
So ... I was reading a bit more about this. This is not a decision yet, but a declaration of intent by the ruling parties in the municipal government.

In any case, apart from bicycles, Oslo has an excellent subway network with over 80 km of track, and over 130 km of streetcar tracks (compare to 68 km and 80 km in Toronto!). In the planned area, there are only about 1000 residents, but almost 100,000 people work there. However, there are also 11 (!) shopping centres of various sizes in the area that would become inaccessible by car. It's actually surprising how few people live in central Oslo, it's quite unusual for a European city -- and quite opposite to the intensification efforts in Waterloo Region.

But 2019 isn't far away and doesn't leave much time for infrastructure improvements. Maybe some bicycle lanes, but even adding street car tracks might be challenging. And will buses still run in the restricted area? I suspect there are some details still to be worked out!
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#4
(10-23-2015, 01:06 PM)tomh009 Wrote: And will buses still run in the restricted area?  I suspect there are some details still to be worked out!

Yes, buses will be allowed.

According to the actual Reuters article:

Quote:Buses and trams will continue to serve the city center, and arrangements will be found for cars carrying disabled people and vehicles transporting goods to stores, the three parties said in a joint declaration.

Also, I haven't been able to find any info on how extensive a closure this represents.
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#5
Apparently the idea is for the area inside Ring 1, about two square kilometres.

If buses still run on the streets, they won't quite be pedestrian streets ...
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#6
(10-23-2015, 02:06 PM)tomh009 Wrote: Apparently the idea is for the area inside Ring 1, about two square kilometres.

Erh, isn't this pretty much already the case in most European cities? Nearly all of them have converted the downtown core to chiefly pedestrian with the odd street open to through traffic.
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#7
(10-23-2015, 02:27 PM)BuildingScout Wrote: Erh, isn't this pretty much already the case in most European cities? Nearly all of them have converted the downtown core to chiefly pedestrian with the odd street open to through traffic.

Indeed. They're already intimately familiar with how to operate a plethora of streets that are closed to cars for most of the day.
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#8
(10-23-2015, 02:27 PM)BuildingScout Wrote:
(10-23-2015, 02:06 PM)tomh009 Wrote: Apparently the idea is for the area inside Ring 1, about two square kilometres.

Erh, isn't this pretty much already the case in most European cities? Nearly all of them have converted the downtown core to chiefly pedestrian with the odd street open to through traffic.

Many have some pedestrian areas, but two square kilometres might be bigger than anyone has done to date.
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#9
(10-23-2015, 06:36 PM)tomh009 Wrote: Many have some pedestrian areas, but two square kilometres might be bigger than anyone has done to date.

I don't think so. Off the top of my head Frankfurt's Innenstadt, Munich Altstadt, Central Brussels and Strasbourg Petite France are all roughly 2 sq. km.
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#10
But those are not completely car-free. Brussels is 0.5 km^2 and is reported to be the second-largest pedestrian zone in Europe, after Venice (which is not really comparable).
http://deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws.englis.../1.2378942
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