Sheepish Oslo city officials now say they won’t ban parking on city streets featuring key bike lanes unless predicted snowfall amounts to at least five centimeters. Their recent ban on parking after a prediction of much less snow was highly unpopular.
“We think ourselves that we were unlucky to the max with the amount of snow that fell,” Liv Jorun Andenes, communications chief and responsible for winter operations of the city’cycling project, told newspaper Aftenposten. She came close to issuing an apology for causing duress for already-frustrated car owners in Oslo, but stopped short, defending the ban instead.
“It was forecast four centimeters and less than a centimeter fell,” she noted. “There’s a calculated risk when you try to do something like this.”
That “something” was part of the city’s new zeal to restrict driving and parking in Oslo, and make it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to get around, also in winter. Parking in places located between a sidewalk and a bike lane was banned, on the grounds that cars needing to drive over the bike lane would drag snow into it, making it more slippery for cyclists.
That didn’t happen, but plenty of motorists left with nowhere to park their cars were angry at a time when other restrictions have made parking much more difficult. Andenes promised, however, that places adjacent to bike lanes won’t be cordoned off unless more than five centimeters of snow is forecast over a 12-hour period.