An Expensive Suit, A Striking Dress

Kristina Krasnadamskyte

A man is dressed in what looks like an expensive suit. He has a briefcase in a basket in front of him. He is on a bicycle.

A few seconds later, a woman wearing a formal, brightly colored dress and high heeled shoes goes by. She’s on a bike, too.

It is a warm and sunny morning in Stockholm and people are on their way to work or to school or to attend to other business. What comes across clearly is that a growing number of residents of Stockholm are choosing not to use  cars to get around.

Instead, they’re using bicycles.

From 1996 to 2006, the number of cyclists has doubled in the city, according to Gunnar Soderholm, the director of the Environment and Health Administration for the city. He said the city is making it easier to use bikes as a means of getting around.  Currently, there are 472 miles or 760 kilometers of bicycle lanes in Stockholm and the city government is planning to spend 1 billion Swedish krona or about $140 million to greatly increase the number of bike lanes in Stockholm.

Cycling is one of many ways Stockholm is becoming more and more environmentally friendly. The more people use bicycles, Soderholm said, fewer cars are on the road, reducing congestion in the city and harmful gases in the atmosphere.

Biking is just one way of doing that. Statistics from Soderholm’s office show that 33 percent of Stockholm residents walk or bike to work or school, while the rest tends to use public transportation, like trains, metros or busses.

Bike rental is convenient as well, with as many as 70 stations around the city where riders can pick up and drop their bikes in a municipal rental system like those in Paris and New York. During warm months, riders can buy a three-day pass, or a season pass, at the Stockholm Tourist Centre or on the Web. #

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