Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A couple more thoughts about Sweden

A couple of things I didn't mention about Sweden. When they get snow, the priority of maintenance is given to the bike ways and transit routes. Regular car routes are last. A general observation about both Sweden and Denmark is the size of the cars-SMALL. Not just the micro cars, but basically the majority of cars are smaller versions of what you see in the U.S. And while many of the companies are ones you don't see in the US, like Citroen or Fiat, there are Toyotas that we don't have - they have one that is smaller than the Yaris, and I saw some Fords that were especially small. What does this have to do with accommodating bikes and peds? Well, the smaller cars mean parking lanes and travel lanes can be smaller, allowing more street space for the other modes. Why car manufacturers can't offer these in the U.S., I don't know. I think the whole time we have been here, I have only seen one full size pick up truck and one SUV. More on our visit to Copenhagen, where 60% of the trips are made by bicycling and walking, tomorrow. We visit a smaller town in Denmark tomorrow, then off to Germany.

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