Saturday, October 2, 2010

Complete Streets Lessons from Copenhagen

by Barbara McCann
1 July 2010
I was fortunate last week to be able to attend Velo-City, an international bicycle conference, held this year in Copenhagen, already world-famous as a ‘city of cyclists.’
Frankly, in the past, I’ve discounted the value of the European model in the United States. It has been just too different - and certainly has been rejected by most local elected officials in the US. Specific European treatments such as cycle-tracks (bicycle lanes raised from the road surface and separate from the sidewalk) seemed pointless to discuss. On this trip, however, I came away with greater clarity about what European cities have to teach the Complete Streets movement in the United States.
The cycle-tracks, and the accompanying blue bike lanes crossing intersections, get a lot of credit for the astounding outcomes: in Copenhagen, 55% of all trips are made on bicycles. Such techniques are employed in other European cities, notably Oulu Finland, where even with six months of winter, the bicycle mode share is 20 percent. Many an American has returned to the states convinced that installation of cycle tracks or blue bike lanes are the way out of our car-dependent road system.

No comments:

Post a Comment