Riders cool to proposed cycling rules overhaul

Riders cool to proposed cycling rules overhaul
Allowing children to ride bikes on sidewalks and more cycle-specific traffic lights are among several proposals in an inquiry presented to the government on Wednesday which has been criticized for not doing enough to improve the situation for bicycle riders in Sweden.

The report also proposes an additional one billion kronor ($150,000) in spending to help improve the country’s cycling infrastructure.

Among the report’s specific suggestions are new rules that would allow children up to 8-years-old to ride their bicycles on sidewalks and compel cars to give way to cyclists at designated crossings.

The inquiry also proposes making it easier for cyclists to ride against traffic on one-way streets.

The report also calls for the installation of new traffic lights specifically for bikes; however Kent Johansson, the Centre Party MEP who led the inquiry, clarified that the changes would not include allowing cyclists to break any existing traffic rules, such as riding against red lights.

“You have to follow the traffic signals. It’s important to have clear, strong messages in the traffic environment,” he told the TT news agency.

However, the proposal has been criticized by the cycling advocacy group Svensk Cykling, with the chairman of the organization Klas Elm labelling the proposal as “lame” and a “huge disappointment”.

Furthermore, the Swedish Automobile Association (Motormännens Riksförbund) said it would be “unfortunate” if the proposal led to the development of a parallel set of bike-specific rules on Sweden’s roads.

“Ambiguity will only lead to more accidents,” Maria Spetz, spokeswoman for the organization, said in a statement.

TT/The Local/og

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