Biking–Copenhagen vs Any Big City USA

Wikimedia commons/heb

Came upon a three part series on grist.org about biking in Copenhagen, Denmark. The series author is Greg Hanscom.

Part one of the series is here. It describes the author’s day one experiences of almost being run over while walking in a bike “track”. It also describes the type of bikes most people ride in Copenhagen, “(mostly) black cruiser bikes decked out with wind-catching fenders over the wheels, plus jaunty wicker or metal baskets up front, utilitarian racks in the back” and almost all with “rusty bike chains”, and what they wear, “Few wore helmets…The men rocked jeans or business attire, and many of the women wore skirts” with almost no Spandex seen.

Part two talks about what officials are doing to get more riders so they can become carbon neutral by 2025. “Unlike most of the bike lanes in the states, Copenhagen’s bike tracks are separated from car traffic by at least a curb, and in many places by a row of parked cars. The city boasts more than 225 miles of cycle tracks, and in recent years has spent considerable resources maintaining and upgrading them. In my experience, cycle tracks were often in better shape than the streets”. “Other carrots include what transportation planners call the “green wave” — traffic lights timed to match the speed of cyclists and thus minimizing waits at red lights. The city also offers tax incentives for residents who commute by bike, and for employers who provide services such as bike parking and showers. There are phone apps for route-finding and reporting trouble spots. And it’s easy to mix and match biking with other modes of transport: You can bring your bike on the train at no charge, and taxis are required to have bike racks.”

Part three is about bringing the Copenhagen bike riding experience to the USA where biking as transportation  is gaining some serious interest. “And for U.S. cities that have embraced bicycling in recent years, it’s not really about bikes, Vanderkooy said. “It’s about attracting young people and talent to your city. It’s about better economic performance, economic health, and public safety. Mayors have begun to embrace biking as purely a rational act, to make their cities competitive.”

Wikipedia’s web page states, “Every day 1.2 million kilometres (789.000 mi) are cycled in Copenhagen, with 36% of all citizens commuting to work, school or university by bicycle,[4] in fact more people commute by bicycle in greater Copenhagen, than cycle to work in the entire United States.[5

You can check the Wikipedia site for some critics of the Copenhagen bike plan. 

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