Stockholm was plagued with horrible traffic congestion that limited the ability of anything to really happen in the city. Cities designed for cars tend to have these traffic problems. As a result, Stockholm instituted a congestion charge which has been a huge success. Even with the charge to drive in the city, traffic is still bad.
The next step Stockholm is thinking about to get more people out of the cars is to get them on bicycles. Even if that means paying people to ride a bike.
The proposal addresses an important next step in weaning the Stockholm region off cars. While the city proper has become increasingly bike-, public transit-, and pedestrian-friendly, the wider suburbs are still lagging behind. This is understandable, given that densities are lower and that longer distances to the city center make cycling there a less casual undertaking. Providing active encouragement to residents outside the current congestion zone to pedal into the city could help tip the balance.
Other proposals suggested by the institute could also help, including allowing bikes on trains and creating broader two-lane cycle highways that heighten a rider’s sense of safety.
Thanks to Mike!