Copenhagen’s ‘best city for cyclists’ goal

By Maddy Savage, BBC News, Copenhagen

Rush hour in Denmark’s capital seems anything but rushed.
City workers glide through the streets – trousers tucked into their socks and briefcases slung on to the side of their bicycles.
Some even have children following on behind, wrapped in waterproofs and perching on special trailers known as cargo bikes.
The air feels fresh and there is not a traffic jam in sight.
With less than four months to go until Copenhagen hosts the United Nations climate change summit, the city has announced its vision to become the world’s best city for cyclists.

In Copenhagen, a third of people already cycle to work, school or university.

There are about 350km (217 miles) of cycle routes around the city.
Cyclists have priority over cars and pedestrians at many major junctions and traffic lights.

It’s a big part of our culture and with all the environmental problems, even more people are starting to use a bike instead: Bettina, cyclist.

City officials have just announced their plans to get half of commuters using bikes by 2015.

“The city has worked consistently to improve things for cyclists,” said Andreas Rohl, who is in charge of the city’s cycling programme.

“Everything you see in Copenhagen today is due to decisions taken back in the 70s and early 80s.

“For people here, going on a bicycle is a bit like brushing your teeth, you don’t think much about it!”

He said the new targets for cyclists were “realistic but very ambitious”.

Common to be car-free

Two of the city’s main bridges have recently had a makeover to help encourage more people to cycle.

One is now completely car-free, the other has been developed to include double cycle lanes on both sides.

The city is planning to widen other existing cycle lanes.

It is also considering congestion charging although the legal procedures to do this are not yet in place.

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