We recently visited Copenhagen, the capital of cycling today. What a place! There are bikes everywhere.
By Matt Jackson
Published July 29, 2014
We recently visited Copenhagen, the capital of cycling today. What a place! There are bikes everywhere. Everyone rides into the city and back. All ages, both sexes, all people.
Biking in Copenhagen
We have not seen a chubby Dane yet. Danes appear in great shape and it doesn't seem to matter whether they are wearing jeans, shorts, skirts, or a suit - they all bike.
Here is a photo of the double-levelled parking of bikes at Norreport Metro Station in Copenhagen. There are so many bikes they have to create an upper level of storage. It has to be seen to be believed.
Two-level bike parking at Norreport Metro Station, Copenhagen
Have you ever biked along those bike lanes in Hamilton that are about two feet wide and then suddenly come to an end? You suddenly have to compete with cars in the right hand lane as both rider and driver are confused about who should occupy the road.
No such confusion here in Copenhagen! The bike lanes here were built with intent, and cars and bikes are clearly separated. Check out these pics. No cars parked in the bike lanes and some bike lanes even have a curb or median that separates cars and bikes.
Dedicated bike lanes in Copenhagen
Makes biking easy and safe. It is the quickest way to get around. Danes joke they can't afford a car, but they are not talking about the cost, they're talking about the wasted time in traffic.
So, a friend sent me a picture of an orange bike bridge here in Copenhagen (see the article below) and it really captured my imagination - not only the fact that a government would boldly fund a bridge over water just for bikes, but that they would make it so obvious by painting it bright orange!
Cykelslangen: The Orange Snake
Affectionately known as "The Orange Snake" the bridge links one side of Copenhagen with another. It is well used as there is a large shopping mall on one side.
The bridge was built because this area was such a popular bike route and locals had to walk their bikes up steps. The orange snake winds its way through the shopping centre and looks great.
There's a great article in The Guardian on the subject:
Infrastructure works the same for cars and for bikes: if you build it, they will come. We are in an ongoing struggle for space in Copenhagen, with an unfair amount of it still reserved for cars, but every cycle bridge and bike lane is a win. And more bike bridges are on their way. Once you cross one, there is no going back: you start dreaming of more.
The bike is the Copenhagener's preferred method of transportation, creating pressure for more and better infrastructure. Fortunately, the city is picking up the pace, connecting the dots and thinking in continuous bike lanes. They call these safe corridors "super bikeways", but really all they are is just road space for bikes. Elevated or not, no city should be without it.
Imagine making the school run or taking a trip to the park in one of these beauties.
No parking tickets, no gas stops. Christiania bikes (named after that area of Copenhagen) are a favourite among families in Copenhagen, with 25 percent of families with two or more children using this mode of transport to propel their family around the city.
These bikes can carry up to four children and are often decked out with stickers, sun shades, and oversize bells. They are easy to manoeuvre and can be seen rolling through the streets with passengers or other cargo at all times of the day.
This one even has a parasol
Originally published in series on Real Men Hamilton.
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