The infrastructure is the basic for developing a cycle culture. Most major cities in Denmark do have rather fine facilities for cyclists, even though the cycle net still needs to be extended and improved. The major Danish cities do have like 300 – 500 kilometres of cycle paths each and a few missing links holds them from finishing the work.
Today some cities are just 5 – 10 % from completing the overall master plan for cycle infrastructure, which normally has been an ongoing job through more than 30 years.
Denmark has got cycle paths for more than a century and started when the iron horses needed separate tracks away from the nails left from horse riding. Cycling did overtake the role of horses for transportation, and especially during the 1960′ies the protection from the fast growing car traffic was more and more needed.
In general cycle infrastructure in Denmark consists of single directional cycle paths in each side of the road, placed in between the pedestrians and the cars. The recommended width is 2.2 meters – something which is often hard to find but also quite important.
Cyclists need cycle paths to feel safe, and safe cyclists cycle more often – 20 % more than without the paths just as a start. Safety is crucial to attract children and elderly – this is why cycling is something which underlines the sense of democracy in Denmark – we want to have room for everybody.
Cycle traffic has to be handled very special in crossings, at traffic lights and at roundabouts – several surveys and studies show specific safe solutions in each case.