Take a Video Tour of the Bike Bridges of Copenhagen

CC BY 2.0 Lloyd Alter/ approaching Cirkelbroen. Lloyd Alter/ approaching Cirkelbroen

Last August TreeHugger toured the bike bridges of Copenhagen and did a slideshow of the experience, from the Cykelslangen to the Cirkelbroen (Cycle Snake to Circle Bridge). Now Clarence Eckerson Jr. covers much the same ground with his video camera, and a terrific guide in Marie Kastrup, the Bicycle Program Manager for the City of Copenhagen.

Touring Copenhagen's Car-Free Bridges from STREETFILMS on Vimeo.

It's actually really interesting to see the evolution in the thinking in Danish bridge design. The first bike bridge, the Bryggebroen, was straight and pretty workmanlike; over the years they have got more elaborate, beautiful and fun. Zipping down the Cycle Snake is a completely different experience.

jog in the bridge

© James Clasper

The Kissing bridge wasn't open when TreeHugger visited last year but is for Clarence in the video, and I must say still looks as dumb as ever, with cyclists having to negotiate a zig-zag from the fixed portions of the bridge to the tongues. As James Clasper reported, the deputy mayor called its construction " chaotic, confusing and ugly" Now that it has opened, I suspect it still is, but it is all sweetness and light in this video.

The extraordinary thing you learn from the video is the volume, the number of cyclists crossing these bridges. One of them gets 43,000 per day. All of them are busy. Because as is so often noted, when you build infrastructure that makes cycling easy and fun, more people do it. As Clarence notes, New York could learn some lessons here:

Every major city should be looking at their waterfronts and making it easier to cross bodies of water. While we debate, possibly widening the Brooklyn bike/ped path sometime years into the future, I would love to see some new car-free crossings over the East River in NYC being seriously discussed. If you are a cyclist and want to go between boroughs, sometimes it is very, very tough since there are not many places to cross.