Copenhagen is known worldwide as a city with a strong cycling culture and a fantastic cycling infrastructure. So when traffic planners, architects and journalists speak about Copenhagen inspiring other cities to improve urban living, mobility and the environment by promoting cycling, they use the term “copenhagenize”.But what does copenhagenize really mean? If you ask the Cycle Secretariat in Copenhagen, they will say it is primarily about having the basic things in order. Quite simply it should be safe, fast and comfortable, easy and convenient to go by bike. Secondly, respect should be a key word when communicating with the city’s cyclists. In Copenhagen, we are trying, to say “Thanks for cycling in the city” to our citizens both through the way we communicate and by the physical solutions we provide on the streets.
For this reason, cyclists have their own traffic lights, which change to green before the cars’, green cycle routes, cycle and pedestrian bridges, wide cycle tracks and blue cycle crossings at major intersections. The City of Cyclists is also supplied with bicycle pumps, cycle counters to keep track of the number of cyclists and green waves, so you do not have to stop at intersections when cycling at a certain speed. And the City of Copenhagen is always on the lookout for new ideas which make cycling more fun and easy.
• Nørre Farimagsgade in the very centre of Copenhagen has just been upgraded as an example of a bicycle path of the future. Here, cycle tracks with green waves and lane lights in the surface have been made which help cyclists maintain speed, so they can easily reach the traffic lights at the intersection while these are still green. In addition, tilted rubbish bins have been set up, enabling cyclists to get rid of their waste as they cycle by. Footrests are also an addition to the streets, making it easy for cyclists to rest their legs while waiting for the lights to go green.
• Another example is Nørrebrogade, running to and from central Copenhagen. Here, bikes and buses have priority over cars and have plenty of room to travel smoothly.
• To create a pleasant atmosphere among the cyclists, the City of Copenhagen campaigns. Among other things, demonstrating good manners on the cycle tracks can be rewarded by distributing chocolate to Copenhageners who show special consideration while riding their bikes, and at stations people may be assisted by cycle butlers who help them find a place for their bikes.
• The City of Copenhagen is not the only organisation who believes that “pampering” the cyclists pays off. For instance, all taxis in Copenhagen must be able to take at least two bicycles on their tailgate, and it is free to bring your bike on the S-train. Special “pamper areas” where you can pump up your bike tyres and refill your water bottle have also been established at several stations, for example Svanemøllen Station.
Article taken from City of Cyclist – UCI Road World Championship 2011, Fact sheet.
Category: Danish Cycling Know How