By on October 20, 2015


Government officials in the capital city of Norway said Monday they would like to ban vehicles from a region in its city center by 2019 to reduce greenhouse gases, according to The Guardian.

The plan has had mixed reaction according to the newspaper, Verdans Gang. There are only about 1,000 residents in the zone where vehicles may be banned, but roughly 90,000 workers commute there everyday, according to the newspaper. Residents have said that a ban on vehicles could add up to 45 minutes to their daily commute.

In its statement, the Oslo city government said the city would be free from fossil fuels by 2030.

Other European cities have experimented with banning cars from city centers. Last month, vehicles were banned in some neighborhoods of Paris for seven hours and Brussels has held similar car-free Sundays since 2002.

The city government of Oslo said it expects to grow by 200,000 residents in the next 20 years. Banning cars could help that city mitigate its growth in busier, denser districts and reduce greenhouse emissions.

“In 2030, there will still be people driving cars but they must be zero-emissions,” Lan Marie Nguyen Berg, a member of the Green Party, said at a news conference, according to AFP.

Officials for the government in Oslo didn’t specify details for how it would ban cars or control parking outside of the car-free zone. The government said it would add more bicycle lanes and subsidize electric bicycle purchases. The city said it wanted to cut traffic city wide by 20 percent by 2019 and 30 percent by 2030.

(Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

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26 Comments on “Oslo, Norway Doesn’t Want Your Stinking Cars, Man...”

  • avatar

    Coming soon to the U.S….

    • 0 avatar

      Probably, I could see this happening in the People’s Republic of Kalifornia. However I have to admit commute time reduction is attractive, even if Party members will still have their exemptions and HOV lanes.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s starting to happen in HNL. The idiot) mayor took away a car lane on the main drag and gave it to the bicyclists. Says it was an “experiment”. Next thing you know another street is now being reconfigured.

      • 0 avatar
        Felis Concolor

        While my knowledge of Honolulu’s transportation topology is over 2 decades out of date, I never found it to be difficult to get around while pushing pedals, bike lane or not. In fact, A monthly pass on The Bus plus a basic DaHon folder made for excellent island mobility on the cheap. Traffic wasn’t great in the Downtown/Ala Moana/Waikiki belt, but it wasn’t untenable.

        Waitaminute: by main drag do you mean Kuhio, King or Kapiolani? That would definitely be bad.

  • avatar

    I live in Oslo so i can comment on this issue. Many people are already against the city governments plan. Many experts have called this too ambitious. Cabbies are complaining as well as many store owners. There is also roadbuilding opposition on major roads heading into the city (including a bypass which would actually RID the city of some of the worst traffic). Inside Ring 1 there are also areas dependent on cars like the Munch museum, the Opera house and some major venues. Which city would close parking to major tourist attractions? I think the city government will not get this through due to opposition in the national government and by the opposition

    • 0 avatar

      Erect some gallows outside of their building. Maybe they’ll take the hint.

      • 0 avatar

        I think that was the practice of the British in India, in response to the Indian practice of throwing live widows on the funeral pyre of their dead husbands.

        In America, beyond the traditional tarring and feathering there were a variety of methods of expressing dissatisfaction with public officials, with “officeholder/rope/lamppost, some assembly required” being most proposed recently but not yet implemented.

        My point is, Norway undoubtedly has its own traditional methods. They should stick to local tradition, though if it involves peat bogs, they’ll have to wait for summer.

      • 0 avatar

        >Erect some gallows outside of their building. Maybe they’ll take the hint.

        Nah. Too weak. A guillotine would REALLY send the message.

    • 0 avatar

      “Ambitious” doesn’t strike me as the right word for this plan.

    • 0 avatar

      Oslo’s bike infrastructure seemed pretty weak to me compared to Trondheim, but I’m sure there’s both the will and money to make it work. The opera house and train station are right next to an exit from the tunnel under downtown so they’d still be accessible.

      Besides, from the city center you are better off taking the båt to the cool museums.

  • avatar

    Ah the New “urbanist” wet dream, “banning” cars.

    Wonder if they realize that all you really will do is force business to MOVE OUT OF THE car “ban” zone to other areas.

    And of course all the revenue those commuters bring too.

    Not well thought out.

    • 0 avatar
      Roberto Esponja

      Exactly. This is just what happened in Puerto Rico to a once vibrant business area after it got turned into a pedestrian zone. Now even the crackheads are afraid of going there.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    And this will reduce global warming by .0000000000001 degree by 2100.

  • avatar

    Metro Detroit has banned working public transportation from the area since 1967.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s Motor City after all, it would be unpatriotic not to.

      • 0 avatar

        I should try and take my daughter to day care and go to work via the bus one day and see how long it takes. My guess is hours.

        Edit: I used the SMART bus trip planner and it would take me over two hours. I would also have to walk a half mile or more. F the bus.

  • avatar

    I said this the other day.

    The government doesn’t want people to drive their own cars – but they can’t just straight up BAN automobiles because they don’t like common people driving private cars – so they do so, but claim it’s for Clean Air.

    Something tells me that the cars of officialdom will be allowed into the Forbidden Zone, though.

  • avatar

    This is utterly utterly stupid. All this will do is hurt buisnesses. Non-residents will quickly determine the transaction costs of shopping there too high. Too much time and effort when they could much more easily shop in more easily accessable areas.

  • avatar

    Kind of ironic considering how much money Norway makes from peddling oil.

    • 0 avatar

      It would be even more ironic if the novel Fallen Angels were correct, that CO2 emissions have been holding off the next ice age, and cutting them back will make Norway and the rest of northern Europe uninhabitable. Oslo is even farther north than Juneau Alaska, Paris France is farther north than Minot, North Dakota, and London is about the latitude of Calgary.

      • 0 avatar

        Latitude is not the only determiner of local climate. “Although there has been recent debate, there is consensus that the climate of Western Europe and Northern Europe is warmer than it would otherwise be due to the North Atlantic drift, one of the branches from the tail of the Gulf Stream.”

        This is only in response to the second portion (high latitudes=cold), as I haven’t read the novel you mentioned and won’t make any claims as to its validity.

        • 0 avatar

          How can a novel be “valid”?

          It’s just a wild idea, that the world’s effort to dramatically reduce CO2 succeeds, and the shift to the next ice age begins, with the novel exploring the effort to move people and industry south out of the freeze zone, with clashes from southern peoples – something like New Yorkers moving to Florida or Arizona now, but on a much larger scale.

          Some scientists doubt that CO2 has the warming effect ascribed to it. There’s a competing theory that the ice age is actually being held off by particulate emissions from Volkswagen diesels darkening the snow and ice in Greenland and elsewhere and causing it to melt faster than it can accumulate.

  • avatar

    I am presuming Oslo doesn’t want everybody to follow their example since their country is heavily financed by North Sea oil. If they think their middle class taxes are high now, wait until nobody wants their oil. And with the Greens not really happy with the commercial fishing business, they might just have to revert to their old fashioned ways: raiding the English coast…

  • avatar

    Norway’s #1 export is carbon dioxide and they are prosperous as a result. Reducing CO2 by a functionally irrelevant amount at the cost of productive enterprise is just the sort of feel-good, pointlessly destructive symbolic act that the lefty watermelons absolutely love. See the California carbon tax, bullet train, windmills and mandated “alternate” energy scams.

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