Oslo saw zero pedestrian and cyclist deaths in 2019. Here’s how the city did it. - Curbed
Imagine a city the size of Washington D.C. going an entire year without any pedestrians or cyclists being killed on its streets. That’s exactly what happened in Oslo, where officials reported this week that zero pedestrian or cyclist fatalities occurred on the city’s roads in 2019.
City data for the Norwegian capital, which has a population of about 673,000, show a dramatic reduction in traffic fatalities, from 41 deaths in 1975 to a single roadway death last year. One adult man was killed in 2019 when his vehicle struck a fence.
According to a story in the Norwegian paper Aftenposten, safety advocates are directly attributing the virtual elimination of roadway deaths to recent initiatives which have allowed fewer cars into the city’s center.
Over the last five years, the city has taken dramatic steps to reduce vehicular traffic in its downtown, including replacing nearly all on-street parking with bike lanes and sidewalks. Major streets have been closed to cars, and congestion pricing raised the fee to drive into the city center, with the goal of making most of downtown car-free by 2019.
Oslo has not only reduced the number of places where it is possible to drive, the city has also lowered the speed limit, which significantly contributes to a reduction in deaths, said Christoffer Solstad Steen of Trygg Trafikk, a national road safety organization, in an interview with Aftenposten.
Perhaps most remarkably, no children under 15 died in roadway crashes anywhere in the country of Norway during 2019, which has a population of about 5.3 million. In the U.S., car crashes are the leading cause of death for children—about 4,000 children are killed each year in traffic collisions.