In 2015 I had the opportunity to join an U.N. sponsored Urban Thinkers Campus: A Forum for Public Space conference in Stockholm, Sweden. My family had lived in Sweden, just outside of Stockholm, in the winter of 1996 and I was eager to go back and see how things had changed. There was great transit, but not much bicycling when we lived there.
First up, the city now has an impressive bicycle network for transportation and recreation. We used the bike share system, Stockholm City Bikes, one of the oldest having launched in 2006. According to Wikipedia “As of January 2014, the system has approximately 110 hubs.” The system is financed through Clear Channel Communications which also operates bike share system in Barcelona, Zaragoza, and Oslo. Purchasing the membership card required finding a 7-Eleven, a cumbersome system. Once you have your membership the bike hubs were pretty easy to find and you can use the bikes for 3 hours for no extra charge.
Returning a bike at one of the many bike share stations.
The bicycle infrastructure had interesting design features not seen in the U.S. including bicycle rumble strips on bikeways to alert cyclists of pedestrian crossings. The system includes separated bike paths, on-street bike lanes, bike boxes, bike ramps, bike bridges, and bike corrals. The bike ramps are designed to also accommodate strollers.
Cycletrack along the harbor with rumble strips and warning signs to warn cyclists of pedestrian crossing.
The transit system has improved significantly since 1996. The subway trains and stations have had makeovers from drab concrete walls to artist-inspired themes.
Stockholm is a city of islands. There are public ferries, boat tours, private boats, and many waterfront docks operating throughout the long summer days.
We took the fast and convenient train to and from the Arlanda airport. This is new since we lived there and it was an amazingly fast, clean, and easy way to use. We never needed to use a car or a taxi during our visit to this beautiful and very multimodal city.