10% of commuters in Copenhagen, who have to travel between 10 and 15 km to work, go by bike. Whether you consider this number large or small, it underlines the potential for more people to cycle longer distances. For this reason, it must be made even easier to choose the bike in favour of the car when going into town from further afield. The City of Copenhagen has joined 17 other municipalities and the Capital Region to create the cycle track’s version of the motorway: the cycle superhighway. Cycle superhighways will initially consist of an at least 300-kilometre long network of routes across the municipal boundaries. On these superhighways for cyclists, the commuters will have excellent conditions: For instance, new asphalt, wider cycle tracks and air stations, where they can easily pump up their flat tyres, among others.
Cycle superhighways are not only designed to increase the number of cyclists; they will also play an important role in reducing congestion, noise, air pollution and carbon emissions.
At present, we already have problems with endless rows of cars moving at snail pace during rush hour. All forecasts indicate that queues will grow in the coming years. This will, among others, result in increased air pollution and wasted working hours. The increase in traffic is already costing the Capital Region 10 billion DKK per year according to estimates made by the Technical University of Denmark. This amount corresponds to two thirds of the cost of the Øresund Link. OECD adds that traffic congestion is a barrier to the Capital Region’s competitiveness. Therefore, if more commuters leave their cars in the garage and go by bike instead, they will help solve the traffic challenge.
Facts: More must take their bike
More people must go by bike if Copenhagen is to reduce its carbon emissions by 20% by 2015 and become carbon neutral by 2025. This applies in particular to those long stretches where few people are cycling today.
• To encourage more people to cycle, the City of Copenhagen and 17 other municipalities aim at improving conditions for commuters in the Capital Region by creating cycle superhighways. Initially, these will consist of 300 km of cycle tracks, divided into 26 routes. Eventually, more routes will follow.
• Funds have already been earmarked for the first three routes: the Albertslund Route, the Farum Route and the Vestervold Route. If all goes according to plan, the cycle routes will be ready by 2011-2013.
• All cycle superhighways must meet certain quality standards which will make it quick, safe and comfortable to go by bike to and from your place of work or education. This, in turn, will improve health conditions, decrease congestion and reduce CO2 emissions.
• In order to encourage more people to cycle, combining cycling with public transport must be made easier. At present, you can bring your bike on the S-train for free. DSB S-train and City of Copenhagen have also joined together to improve stations for cyclists.
Article taken from City of Cyclist – UCI Road World Championship 2011, Fact sheet.