Helsinki, a motivated populus, and motivated government

Image: dr_tr/Flickr

Image: dr_tr/Flickr


Helsinki isn’t on the level as Copenhagen, but it’s trying. The usual things make the list, like good public transport and segregated cycle lanes. These things are integral to moving both cars and bikes efficiently, but what if you want to decrease motorized traffic in favour of cycling and walking? Helsinki has made driving both expensive and a complete pain in the arse. Treehugger gives his impression here. Go here for a quick report on how public transport use is increasing faster than personal motorized transport. This report doesn’t deal with cycling, but a majority of citizens around the Helsinki area are in favour of restricting personal car use. This is another look at Helsinki’s transport plan for the future. When a populus are in favour of making something happen, anything is possible, but it makes you wonder how much cycling and walking can be advanced in cities where this isn’t the case. Local government can’t force a majority to change and hope to be re-elected, so the question is how can you convince the majority to ditch their cars? Slowly introduce measures that squeezes cars to the peripheral and hope that drivers see the advantages along the way? Should government act on what the populus wants or what it believes they should have? What do you think?