In many countries it’s commonplace to charge motorists a toll to use certain roads, but what about paying money to cyclists as an incentive to go car-free? That’s exactly what happened recently in Lillestrøm, Norway a few weeks ago. Pedestrians and bike-users were pulled over and handed 100 Kroner (approximately $15) while drivers were ignored.
‘The reverse toll points out an important fact–that getting people to walk and cycle is profitable for the society,’ says Ole Jacob Flætene, Mayor of Lillestrøm. ‘It is beneficial for our health, for the environment, and for the transport system.’
Recent health surveys have revealed the somebody walking instead of driving a typical journey saves the government around $8 per kilometre, while a cyclist saves $4. This was reflected in the reverse toll, intended to encourage citizens to have a more positive outlook on proposed cycle-friendly infrastructure changes in Lillestrøm, a place which has been repeatedly voted best cycling town in Norway.
This idea goes directly against what authorities have tried in the past, such as stopping cyclists who aren’t wearing helmets or reflective gear. It’s refreshing to see emphasis on what people are doing right for a change, rather than always stopping them for what they’re doing wrong.
Via Clean Technica