In Copenhagen Bicycles Overtake Cars

As a result of half a century of planning, Copenhagen has achieved a fabulous cycling goal - during the morning rush hour more bikes and mopeds pound the inner city streets than personal cars and buses. Just a bit more than a third of inhabitants get to work by bike every day - the other two thirds take public transport or a personal car. But the news gets even better - Copenhagen's municipal government is increasing spending to improve bike lanes and paths and the bike travel experience.

According to this survey, Copenhagen is behind places such as Amsterdam (where a claimed 40 percent of traffic moves by bike) and Portland, Oregon in providing the best inner-city biking experience. This may be true, but Copenhagen has got to be the stylish bike capital - especially with the bloggers at copenhagengirlsonbikes and cycleliciousness making it look so cool to ride.City officials now want to increase cyclists to make up half of all commuters by 2015, as well as increase cyclists' speeds by 10 percent while reducing the risk of injury. How will they do it? Partly by investing more - they added about 25 million Danish crowns (US$ 3.7 million) in 2007 to the yearly budget of 75 million crowns.

Already in the city, subway stops and other open spaces sport large bicycle parking stalls - the best are the covered double-decker stalls - and the city will build even more of these to encourage cyclists to park away from pedestrian and other traffic. They'll also widen lanes to accommodate more bikes.

In addition, some heavily-trafficked lanes will sport a new bicycle pictogram to show that they get a special 'green wave' - traffic lights will be coordinated so cyclists who maintain speeds of about 20 kilometers/hour can just keep on moving.

Across Öresund in Sweden cyclists are not quite so pampered, but some good things are happening - in Gothenburg cyclists will soon be able to use the same Internet service cars have long had access to to create individual bike destination maps for all locations in the city. Via ::Ecoprofile

Tags: Copenhagen | Denmark | Scandinavia

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