What makes Copenhagen the biking capital of the world?
Last month I went with urbanist Anthony Page to see for ourselves. This short documentary shows you a few highlights and innovations from the bike lane, pointing out key distinctions for street design, sidewalks, a roundabout, and the flow of a complex intersection.
You’ll gain a new appreciation for seeing the details of street design and biking infrastructure and get a feel for the ease of biking in a city with a great bike network.
For decades, City staff and elected officials have had an increasingly intentional, diligent focus on creatively addressing every transportation situation to make biking convenient, enjoyable, simple, and safe.
As you can see from the infographics here from the Cycling Embassy of Denmark, they spent over 268 Euros in 5 years on bicycle projects and promotion across the country. Denmark also has a national Cycling Fund focused on supporting the funding of these things.
Typically, the hardest demographic to get on the road for everyday transportation biking are women. They are typically a bit more risk-adverse than men. So to see that 47% of cyclists are male and 53% are female says a lot about their biking infrastructure. It feels safe and orderly, you know what to expect and there’s not a big learning curve to taking a new route. It's intuitive to navigate your way through the city by bike. Even for we foreigners.
Bike paths through parks seamlessly integrate into major intersections, around road construction, through the trendiest neighborhoods, and along pedestrian-only shopping streets.
In Copenhagen, the symphony of the street is reason enough to visit.
Facts About Cycling, from the Cycling Embassy of Denmark
For AP Development, bicycle transportation is't just a fad - it's the evolution of our cities becoming more people-centered places where commerce and community enable humans to THRIVE.
Bicycle transportation is here to stay, and any place competing for jobs, residents, tourists, or economic output is on the playing field with cities like Copenhagen. Benefits to a strong bicycle transportation system range from lower healthcare costs, lower long-term infrastructure costs, better employee productivity (both for everyday concentration and sick days), better childhood health and increased autonomy, less environmental pollution, increased disposable income, stronger ties to local social and consumer networks, and higher quality of life.
Can you imagine if 53% of all trips within 3 miles were taken by bike in YOUR city, as in Copenhagen? For some small towns, that's the majority of the town! And in large cities, that might be the size of a neighborhood. With that kind of modal split you begin to get all kinds of benefits you didn't expect - you might even begin to hear more birds once the traffic noise dissipates! Despite the pervasive 5-story density throughout much of Copenhagen, the quiet and the bird songs were what struck us the most.