The City of Copenhagen released its latest mode share data yesterday and the numbers look fantastic.
62% of residents in the City ride a bicycle daily to work or education in the city. 21% take public transport, be it bus, metro or train. Only 9% drive a car – even though car ownership is around 25%. Basically, 91% of our citizens DON’T drive a car in the city – here in one of the richest countries in the world. All good, right?
You would think so, but even Copenhagen suffers from a serious case of Arrogance of Space. We took a section of Hans Christian Andersen Boulevard – the 1950s urban planning travesty that carves the Danish capital in two – and did a quick arrogance of space analysis.
It’s the busiest street in the Kingdom with between 50,000 – 60,000 cars a day roaring past, most of them firmly in the “parasite” category. These are not people who live in the municipality and who therefore do not pay for the road space that we provide them. There has been talk for years of burying this street and reclaiming the space it occupies. While not a bad idea – albeit an expensive one – it wouldn’t remove the cars from the city, since they would pop up out of the tunnel at some point.
As you can see on the graph, a whopping 64% of the transport space in Copenhagen is allocated to cars – both car lanes and curb parking. This is most apparent at the location we are looking at here.
When we map out the space allocated for cyclists, it looks like this. There are 26,400 cyclists along the boulevard on weekdays, according to the latest count in September 2016. Add to that around 10,000 who merely cross the boulevard from the side streets. Certainly not one of the busiest bicycle streets in Copenhagen but the numbers are respectable. On the map you can see how the infrastructure is part of a cohesive network.