bike lanes network gets 250 million Swedish kronor upgrade

As more and more people choose to commute by bike the city of Stockholm needed to revisit the relatively low investments made in the cycling infrastructures over the past few years (decades?).

Even if Stockholm is a rather nice city for bike commuters some had to leave the bike home (long before the winter came and commuting by bike became a real challenge) because of overcrowded lanes (150,000 cyclists every day) and the risks it might mean for someone who is not use to handle a bike just like another part of the body.

Long story short, the Committee on Transportation will go through a first 246 million Swedish kronor (38 million U.S. dollars) batch of improvements and initiatives next week out of the 1 billion Swedish kronor (157 million U.S. dollars) budget set aside for cycling infrastructures.

new bike lanes on the horizon

Stockholm’s cycling network is getting major attention right now (Lilla Västerbron, Kymlingestråket, Perstorpsvägen and Flatenvägen are first on the list and planned for 2013) and will develop together with other big projects and changes in Stockholm’s landscape (Slussen and Hagastaden for instance).

All of that sounds good to my bike commuter ears but there is no such thing as a free lunch and here’s the catch.

Stockholm will gradually become a better and safer city for cycling. But it will eventually get crowded in many places and we just can’t make bridges wider for instance.” – Ulla Hamilton, traffic commissioner

This post is my own interpretation of this article published in Dagens Nyheter on January 30, 2013.

the MBK project – cleaning up

I thought I’d spend Christmas day on the couch letting all the available body energy flow to my busy stomach but my obsession with bicycles had other plans for me.

A couple of months ago my dad bought a brand new road bike but did not throw away his old school MBK Super Sprint even though pretty much nothing on it was in working order: rusted brake callipers, stucked derailleur and shifters. The frame being in rather good condition with compatible drop-outs I could only think of one solution to get that bike back on the French country side roads: I had to start with my first conversion and build a fixed gear bike.

Since I did not know I was going to convert a bike during the Christmas season I did not have the parts I needed to complete the work but I started anyway and removed all the useless bits and pieces I could find on the frame. It did not take long and the bike is now waiting for new components and I’ll make sure I order them in advance or find them in my own stock before next time I pay a visit to my parents. Here’s what I need before I can ride this “back from the deads” MBK: a front brake, tires & tubes, a fixed gear rear wheel, a chain ring and a chain. Duly noted.

the MBK project

I’m now back in Stockholm, Sweden and the project is on hold for a while but stay tuned (subscribe to the RSS feed if you don’t want to miss the followup to the MBK revival).