Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Study says bicycles won't reduce car traffic

STOCKHOLM. Increased use of bicycles in the Swedish capital would only have a minor effect on car traffic in the city centre, according to a new study from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.
The study, reported by the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter online, says that bicycling as a means of transportation of its own is gaining in importance in Stockholm. But most of the car traffic in the inner city, 84 percent according to the study, consists of vehicles that made a journey longer than 15 kilometres. This traffic is not likely to be replaced by increased use of bicycles, according to researchers from KTH.
The report, part of a larger study of travel habits of some 55,000 stockholmers, looked at what it would mean if half of all shorter car trips (less than 5, 10 or 15 kilometres) were done by bicycle instead. The researchers assume that few commuters who drive more than 15 kilometres one way would switch to bicycle.
Therefore bicycling cannot be expected to solve traffic congestion in central Stockholm.
But the study still points out the benefits of an increased use of bicycles. It’s healthy, inexpensive, fast and good for the environment.