Saturday, September 15, 2012

rush hour in Malmo

rush hour in Malmo is like rush hour anywhere else; many people have completed a hard days work and are excited to get home to see their families, loved ones, eat a nice meal, maybe even sit like a vegetable in front of the television watching the evening news or another in the endless stream of reality tv shows.

Malmo, like most other cities, has a city center, other popular destinations for business and social life, and shops, restaurants, and bars downtown.  there are tourist attractions (although the town itself is not specifically touristy) such as city squares, churches, a cathedral, old buildings, a giant park, a beautiful library, and much more.  the city bustles with activity in these downtown areas throughout the day, and in certain areas, throughout the evening.

like most cities, these central and downtown areas are higher rent and typically geared toward wealthier people or visitors.  a vast majority of the people who work or spend time in the heart of the city live somewhere else, somewhere further afield in the city or even in the suburbs.  Boston, with approximately 600,000 people in the city proper, receives about 300,000 commuters each day.  Malmo is much the same.  about 60,000 people commute into the city of 300,000 people and another 30,000 commute out (most commonly to Copenhagen over the Oresund Bridge via train).  as one would expect, the commuters take typical means to get into and out of the city, including buses, cars, and trains.

there is no metro in Malmo as there is in a larger city such as Boston or Copenhagen, but what Malmo does have moreso than either of those much larger cities is bike lanes.  the dedicated bike lanes are everywhere throughout the city center and into the suburbs.  I have never (even in Copenhagen) seen so many well constructed, thoughtful, easily navigable, dedicated bikes lanes.  so the other night around 17.30 I stopped at an intersection to the south of the city center and filmed a couple of minutes of rush hour.
the traffic signals seemed to be on about a 1:15 cycle alternating between perpendicular (the minor street) and parallel (the major street).  I stood on a corner in front of a subway (restaurant) and filmed for one light cycle at a time.  these videos represent what I would call a typical, fair weather, rush hour, light cycle at a populated/ popular intersection.

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