Tag archives for cycling

Politicians in Tranås get paid for cycling to sessions

Now Matilda Forsärla gets equally paid as her colleagues who take the car to council sessions. Photo: private.

I suppose it isn’t very different from in most other countries, but in Sweden you often get reimbursed by your work etc if you use your car to get to meetings or assignments. In our tax declarations, commuting expenses above a certain amount are also deductible – if you go by car or public transport.

As a dedicated cyclist I must say I have sometimes wondered why pedalling your way there doesn’t count at all.
This was also the question that Matilda Forsärla, local government councillor in Tranås in the South of Sweden [map] , asked herself. But she went a step further and actually did something to change this.

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Cycle commuters in Malmö don’t need to come to work sweaty

The Bike and ride cycle parking in Malmö. Photo: Bike and ride.

On my way down to Berlin recently, I spent a few hours in Malmö waiting for the night train. Now Malmö isn’t only one of the cities in the Swedish forefront of urban gardening and with a bike kitchen that I envy them. Malmö is also a good place for those who commute by bicycle and train.

In the southern part of the city, just above the railway tracks of the train station Hyllie (which is also the last one on the Swedish side before the train crosses the border to Denmark), you can find Malmö’s (and maybe Sweden’s?) first “Bike and Ride”.

This is a staffed centre where people can leave their bikes in safe custody while they are at work. And there are a lot of people going this way to work every morning. According to the region of Skåne, there were about 20000 persons commuting between Copenhagen and Malmö already in 2009, and almost half of them by train.
Today I reckon they are even more.

It’s free of charge to park your bike here, and there are also a place where you can clean your bike, pump the tyres and make simpler repairing work. For those who want to switch between their cyclist personality and a slick office outfit, there are also showers and lockers for helmets and rain clothes.

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Sweden’s first “cycle superhighway” on its way

Imagine this… but four times broader. Photo: Veronicasverkstad (CC: BY, NC, SA)

Maybe it isn’t strange that the region that might get Sweden’s first “cycling highway” is in Skåne [map], one of the country’s flattest parts. Places like the student metropolis Lund is already known as something of a cyclist’s favourite. But now there are plans of linking Lund with the neighbouring city of Malmö, by a four-lane straight bike highway without intersections – and with wind protections, since a flat landscape also means a lot of wind.

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Snow and ice? No problem for a winter cyclist!

My rescue this winter: Studded tyres. Photo: Sara Jeswani.

As a child, I used to cycle to school in all kinds of weather. Going by bus or being driven there by someone’s parents only happened on rare occasions, like after heavy snowfalls when the city of Alingsås [map] hadn’t managed to clear the tracks in the morning.
Living in Gothenburg [map] was the same, cycling up and down on snowy bike lanes (anyone who has cycled through this city knows that there are very few flat sections…). I remember cycling with my shoulders stuck at my ears at times, half panicking when the streets were covered by a shiny layer of ice. But somehow I managed.

Lately, though, things have changed.

Photo: Sara Jeswani.

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What has to go in crowded Stockholm? The cars!

Since we don't have 45 meter broad streets in Stockholm ... something else must be changed. Illustration: City of Stockholm, Britt-Marie Alvin.

Many of my friends who have come to Stockholm from other parts of the world start laughing when I complain about the traffic here. OK, the morning congestions in central parts of town might not be much in comparison to Paris, Barcelona, Mexico City or New Delhi… but cycling through the streets of Stockholm you still get the feeling that there’s just not space enough for you and your bike, while there’s quite a lot of space for the cars. And according to a new survey, Stockholm is the Nordic city that suffers most from traffic jams. Read more » >>