Copenhagen’s Bicycle Account

| June 3, 2013

Historically high levels of cycling in Copenhagen. Copenhagen’s new Bicycle Account 2012 has just hit the streets. Here, the city documents the latest development in cycling. Both cyclists’ feeling of safety, actual safety and the amount of kilometers cycled are historically high. In several areas, however, Amsterdam is still ahead of Copenhagen, but Copenhagen is coming close.


Bicycle traffic
* The total number of kilometers cycled in Copenhagen has increased by 36% since 1996.
* There are now 1.27 million kilometers cycled every day, probably the highest level measured in the last 50 years.

Modal share
* 36% of all trips to work and education in Copenhagen is done by bicycle.
* 52% of Copenhagen residents arrive to work or education by bicycle.
* Furthermore, cycling accounts for 26% of all trips in Copenhagen.

Amsterdam vs. Copenhagen
A preliminary comparison of accessible comparable data shows that Amsterdam is ahead of Copenhagen in several areas although Copenhagen is coming close.
* Cycling levels are equally high in the two capitals (29 % of all trips, 2008) but levels drop outside the city proper in Copenhagen whereas they stay high throughout the region around Amsterdam.
* Accident data show an equally low level of risk in both Copenhagen and Amsterdam, although a recent trend indicates cycling being safer in Copenhagen than in Amsterdam from 2009 and onwards.
* Amsterdam has 5 times more public available parking spaces for bicycles.
* Investments in cycling have historically been higher in Amsterdam than in Copenhagen but have levelled in the past few years, when investments per resident is taken into consideration.

Cyclists’ sense of safety
In the past four years the sense of safety has risen by 50%, meaning three out of four now feel safe or very safe when cycling.

Actual cyclist safety
* The number of serious cyclist accidents in 2012 was 102, compared to 252 in 1996.
* Furthermore, bicycle traffic has increased 36% in the same period so the indivdual cyclists’ risk of having a serious accident in traffic is three times lower than in 1996.
* This means that today, every cyclist has to cycle an average of 100 around the earth (4.1 million km) before having a serious traffic accident.

Cycling customers are central for revenue
* Cyclists shop for 15.4 billion DKK every year in Copenhagen’s shops’ and supermarkets (malls excluded) whereas motorists shop for 15.3 billion DKK.
* In total, pedestrians and cyclists account for 55 % of all revenue in Copenhagen, and 58 % of all shopping trips.

Potential in shifting short car trips to bicycle
* Every day, 180,000 car trips shorter than 5 km are driven in Copenhagen.
* This sums up to 32 % of all car trips in Copenhagen which are shorter than 5 km.
* 69 % of car owners in Copenhagen approve of muni­cipalities actively restricting car traffic in the Capital Region and only 14% disapprove.

High concentration of bicycles on Copenhagen’s streets
* 40,700 cyclists on Knippelsbro
* 36,000 cyclists on Nørrebrogade
* 30,200 cyclists on Langebro
* 29,100 cyclists on Torvegade
(Streets with most bicycle traffic, weekday traffic, both directions, 2012)

Bicycle ownership
* Copenhagen’s 550,000 residents own 650,000 bicycles, which equals 1.2 bicycles per resident.
* In comparison, the number of cars is 125,000, meaning that there is 5.2 bicycles for each car.

You can download the Bicycle Account HERE

Category: Policy, Publications

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