October 14, 2009 14 Comments
Why don’t you jump on your bicycle to work, school or the grocery store when the weather is perfectly fine? Why is it only “sporty parents” that bike to work? And why do motorists get annoyed when you actually take your bike for a roll one day? How do one get the general population to notice bicycling as an actual and effectiv mean of transport in the city? How can bicyclists reclaim more space in the city traffic? Where do we start? And perhaps most importantly, who can make the changes?
My Italian friend, Nicola, told me about these bicycle-events going on in different cities in Italy every month, and after a short research it seems like this is a world wide movement/phenomenon… Critical Mass is an event where bicyclists “take over” the streets in the city, by making a more or less unorganized ride around the city, and for that short moment take a part of the road away from the cars. Or as the wiki-page states: “…these events should be viewed as “celebrations” and spontaneous gatherings, and not as protests or organized demonstrations. This stance allows Critical Mass to argue a legal position that its events can occur without advance notification of local police.”
And last month, probably the worlds largest Critical Mass ride was held in Hungary, where about 20 000 bicyclists reclaimed the streets of Budapest. This huge event only occurs two times a year, but other cities around the world arrange smaller monthly events to promote bicycling, and there is a great amount of blogs talking about it. There is an obvious reason why Copenhagen is not on the Critical Mass-list, since it seems to be a critical mass of bicyclists all over the city every single day. But why isn’t Oslo mentioned??
So what’s actually going on in Oslo?
I read that Syklistenes Landsforening tries to organize some bicycle rides/events in Oslo each month, but little have I found about this on the Internet, and who noticed the bicyclists in the streets? I would like to see more documentation, if there is any…? (There have also been held campaigns to promote “bicycling to work” etc., but what about making these kinds of campaigns attractive to more than one type of people?) As of yet, I’m not completely updated on this, so I would like to hear from you if you see or know of any bicycle related events in the region.
I like the image of Norwegians as an eco-friendly people, and I definitely want to see more people (including myself) biking in the streets… (And don’t you even mention the worn out argument of “too many hills”, because it’s not! …it’s too many cars!) It’s clearly that the horrible organized infrastructure is a main problem, but the decision makers just don’t get it, do they…
I’m ready to roll, are you?