The vision of Stockholm as a city for motorists begun in the 1960’s when cars equaled freedom and our eyes were turned towards American style city planning.
The plans for a North-South connection has been in the works for over 50 years.
The first incarnation was in 1966-67 with a planned construction in the 1980’s.
During the 1970’s however a strong public opinion against motorways and their environmental consequences, the tearing down of the city core, the oil and finance crisis and dwindling population put an end to the vision of a city primarily for motorists.
In the early 1990’s the plan came back again under a new name. Massive protests and a local referendum in the county of Ekerö helped to stop the plans.
But the dream lingered on and after 15 years, in 2007 the plans for a North-South connection came to life once more, this time primarily underground and named E4 The Stockholm bypass. Meanwhile the law had been changed and a county could no longer veto a project like the bypass.
The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (sv. Naturvårdsverket)
has constantly stated that the E4 Stockholm bypass project conflicts with
the climate goals of Sweden. Statements has been given to:
Stockholm bypass breaches the Environmental code.
(to the Swedish Transport Administration and the Government)
The environmental impact of Stockholm bypass is not clear
(to the Land and Environment Court)
Stronger environmental requirements for Stockholm bypass are needed.
(to the Land and Environment Court of Appeal)
(link in Swedish)
Swedish Transport Administration (sv. Trafikverket)
According to the Swedish Transport Administration’s prognosis for E4 The Stockholm Bypass an increase in traffic is expected by 2035, 69% in the region and 33% in the inner city. At the same time their environmental experts claim that technical developments is not enough to achieve the climate goals, a reduction in car traffic is also necessary – 10-20% by 2030 with the largest reduction in the major cities.
If the prognosis is correct the release of greenhouse gases in the region during 2030-2035 will be almost double the level necessary to stay within the climate goals.
County Administrative Board (sv. Länsstyrelsen)
According to the regional overview from 2013 by the County Administrative Board
E4 The Stockholm Bypass is the main reason that the climate goals of the region cannot be reached by 2030.
An alternative to E4 The Stockholm bypass.
Swedish Transport Administration did have other alternatives for present and future congestion problems in the Stockholm region. These were all scrapped at an early stage in the decision process in favor of the bypass, a high cost alternative with environmental consequences and leading to urban sprawl.
The State Institute for Communication Analysis (SIKA) also opposed Stockholm bypass in favor of the “Combination alternative”. This was an alternative with congestion taxes, small scale investments in roads and large scale investment in public transport. This alternative would have effectively helped us to reach such transportation goals as accessibility, regional development, environmental protection, equality and traffic safety.
It would have had a much smaller impact on the climate and the environment. (The SIKA institute was shut down in 2010. Some of its function has been taken over by Swedish Transport Administration.)
We thank citizens of Seattle, International Sustainability Institute
and the Washington post for a clear visual statement.