Better and safer bicycle lanes – that is the goal for the project that was begun in Odense Municipality in the summer of 2015. Jonas Korsgaard, or as he is also known, the bicycle detective, has as his job to inspect the no less than 550 kilometres of bicycle lanes in the municipality.
Odense must have a standard.
With nothing other than a bicycle, a notebook and a camera, Jonas Korsgaard has gone out for a serious bike ride. The purpose is to map out the places in Odense where there are potholes, bad signage or damaged surfacing whereupon he sends the photos to the service personnel so they can constantly upgrade and repair any damages. The citizens of Odense can also help the detective’s work by using the app “Give us a tip” allowing them to send their own photos of unsafe lanes to the municipality.
An easy and cheap method of maintenance
The municipality has allocated 5 million DKK for the project which runs over four years, and the method is as simple as it is cheap according to Trine Ejdrup Nielsen, who is the parks manager of the municipality: ’’We have 4 busy road inspectors in Odense going around by car, but they don’t always have time to inspect the bicycle lanes. Also, the road inspectors don’t experience bicycle lanes the way cyclists do, so a student help on a bicycle is both an effective and cheap solution.”
Jonas Korsgaard quickly registered many flaws and shortcomings, and he has no doubt as to what he thinks about the project: ’’I love to cycle, and now I earn money doing my hobby whilst doing something very meaningful,” says Jonas Korsgaard, who is 21 years old and a civil engineer student.
Better passability makes more people cycle
More citizens cycling and better passability are just some of the many reasons to carry out the project and, according to the municipality, lanes in poor condition are the greatest hindrance for achieving that.
“I am surprised how many problems there really are. Beforehand I thought – even though I’ve fallen myself – that the bicycle lanes were sort of alright, but now I have really noticed that there are problems in many places,” says the bicycle detective.
Odense was awarded The Cycling Municipality of the Year 2015 and is a city that prioritises the cyclists greatly: ’’We constantly wish to make it easier and more attractive to choose the bicycle, but we are also under economic pressure so this system is pure win-win. We have found a simpler, more clever way to do things,” says Trine Ejdrup Nielsen.
Read more about the Municipality of Odense.