26 August 2010

Cycling Politicians - Iceland


The Icelandic Minster for Education and Culture, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, on her bicycle in Rejkjavik.

Thanks to Morten for the link.

8 comments:

Kevin Cannon said...

What is cycling culture like in Iceland/Reykjavik?

I was there in Easter and the weather is pretty tough. Reykjavik doesn't even have any pedestrian streets as far as I can recall. I assumed hat was because they've a veyr car-centric culture (and not the same traffic problems as larger populations)

Anonymous said...

This is our opposition leader in Australia:

http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/frozen-rain-barbeques-and-jokes-about-the-lotus-position-a-strange-view-from-tony-abbotts-bike-20100413-s633.html

Merlin said...

Here's our mayor in Seattle on Bike to work day (which for him is every day):
http://www.streetfilms.org/biking-to-work-with-seattles-mayor-mike-mcginn/

Morten Lange (Reykjavík) said...

@Kevin Cannon:
Cycling culture in Reykjavík, and I dare say the country is getting healthier every year.
But I find it difficult right now to decide how to define bicycle culture :-) Still I'll mention the cycle to work campaign, that started in 2002 with 500 participants. Last spring there were
9455 participants, or ca 3% of the entire population which is higher than in any other country I have heard of. Four - 4 government ministers met at the opening of the campaign in May.

A few days a year ( 5 or 10) we have storms that blow cars off the roads. Few people cycle on those days. But last winter we had much less snow than Copenhagen.

There is now one short, pedestrian street, and the Clown party ( BEST party) in the city have added many temporary "street openings" this summer. Hope to add more later (?)

Anonymous said...

Iceland has a helmet law of some type, doesn't it? Is it for minors only?

Morten Lange (Reykjavík) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Morten Lange (Reykjavík) said...

Yes, in Iceland there is helmet compulsion for children and youngsters under 15 years, under a bylaw, but (generally) not enforced. There are stories from some years back of police confiscating bikes. The compulsion was set to be extended to adults in 2005, by a decision in the Ministry for Transport. It seems the Ministry did listen to reason then, but nothing official was released about the decision. And now there is a proposition before the parliament from the Ministry to cement the compulsion by moving it from bylaw to law. The ministry seems to have completely ignored the arguments against the compulsion, and have not presented any arguments in favour of compulsion during the "consultations" on the changing of the law. Same story as in most other places with compulsion.
On the other hand, in recent years "casual" cycling has increased, so there are conflicting trends.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Morten.