Oslo Gradually Removing Parking From Central City as It Phases Out Cars

Photo: Wikipedia
Photo: Wikipedia

Another European city is setting its sights on ridding the urban core of cars.

The City Council in Oslo, Norway, has approved a plan to remove cars from the central city by 2019. As part of that plan, parking spaces will be replaced by bike infrastructure.

Liv Jorun Andenes, who works on bike projects with Oslo’s agency for the environment, told Streetsblog via email that the city is planning to remove 1,300 spots over the next three years. In their place, eight bicycle routes will be added. In addition, 500 spaces will be eliminated to make room for pedestrians and transit. 

This City of Oslo map shows the locations of the proposed cycleways.
Proposed Oslo cycleways

The parking phase-out began this spring. “It’s going well,” Jorun Andenes says, “but of course we are receiving a few complaints from residents who are losing their free parking spot.”

The city expects to hear more complaints when 100 parking spaces are removed from a wealthy part of town later this year. That accounts for about 2 percent of Oslo’s parking supply, according to local news sources.

Ridding the central city of cars is part of a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent, according to the Guardian. The city hopes to reduce auto traffic by 20 percent by 2019 and 30 percent by 2030.

Madrid and a number of other places in Europe are considering similar plans aimed at returning central cities to people.

  • RichLL

    Removing parking is not the same as phasing out cars. Even if they remove all the on-street parking spaces there will still be cars using lots, private garages, off-street parking spaces and so on.

    What this will do is make it very easy for cars to temporarily stop to pick up and set down, which otherwise requires double parking. And of course there will still be cabs, shuttles, emergency vehicles, trash vehicles, utility trucks, delivery trucks and so on.

    A 30% reduction in cars by 2030 is hardly phasing out cars at all, but by making it more expensive and inconvenient to drive they will ensure that the remaining 70% who still drive will be the wealthiest residents.

  • JustJake

    Great time to invest in private parking options near central Oslo.

  • Oslo is already very car-lite in its downtown core, even in winter. And their drivers, along with drivers in Stockholm, are some of the most considerate and patient towards pedestrians that I’ve ever experienced. Both cities have extensive pedestrianized streets where they allow vehicle deliveries only between 6 and 10 am. I saw almost no double-parked delivery trucks in either city. I did see a lot of people walking as part of their normal daily routine. Not so much biking, but I was there in December. It is undoubtedly part of the reason why both the Norwegians and the Swedes are so much healthier than Americans.

  • Bruce

    Stockholm also has lots and lots of raised bikeways in lieu of car parking.

  • ahwr

    Phasing out cars is only planned for the central city area, with exceptions for freight, people with disabilities, emergency vehicles etc…The 30% reduction refers to citywide auto use.

  • RichLL

    There would have to be exceptions for cabs and shuttles, since most of the hotels are in that area too. Uber as well, perhaps?

    I guess people will take a cab to their parking garage, like some people do in Manhattan.

  • stefano__

    cabs? shuttles? What about public transport?
    It seems everybody on this thread is not mentioning public transport for some unknown reason

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