Copenhagen: Serious About Cycling
Cycle Parade in Copenhagen from Copenhagenize on Vimeo.
Copenhagen ranks as one of the world’s
friendliest cities for cyclists, with 37 percent of residents in Greater
Copenhagen using a bike daily. To
encourage more residents to bike to work and school, the city plans to expand
bike lanes farther into the suburbs. The city hopes to entice the
85,000 suburbanites who currently commute via car, bus, and train to switch to cycling.
Fifteen thousand people already bike into Greater Copenhagen
from the suburbs, so these “bicycle superhighways” will enhance their commute and
also make cycling more appealing for those who do not. Some perks of the new routes include fewer
detours, service stations along the routes with air and tools, and priority
crossing for cyclists at busy intersections. Additionally, cyclists who maintain a pace greater than 12 miles per hour will
benefit from the Green Wave, affording them green lights all the way through
sections of the city with frequent stoplights.
In the big picture, more cyclists mean fewer cars on the
- Nat Geo Expeditions
road and less air pollution. The
European Cyclists’ Federation is pushing for greater funding for bike-friendly
initiatives in urban settings. The ECF
estimates that increasing cycling levels from 5 to 15 percent in Europe
could reduce carbon dioxide emission by 50 million tons and plans to do so by 2020.
To do its part in saving the environment and bringing European bike-lovers together, Copenhagen hosted a cycling parade as part of CO2penhagen, the “world’s first carbon-neutral festival.”
While you’re visiting, you can take part in “Bycyklen Kobenhavn,” the city’s bike culture, by snagging one of the 1,300 free bike rentals offered to visitors between May and December.