2,563 viewsMay 28, 2019, 06:27am
The bicycle’s share of commuter trips in Copenhagen has risen. It increased from 43% in 2017 to 49% in 2018 – annual jumps of 6% are unusual yet Denmark’s capital city is not resting on its laurels. To improve air quality and reduce motor-traffic congestion, Copenhagen municipality’s “Cyclist Priority Plan for 2017-2025”–Cykelstiprioriteringsplanen 2017-2025–aims to get even more people on bikes. The goal had been to increase bicycle commuting journeys to 50%, and this target looks set to be exceeded this year.
However, this has not been an overnight success story: Copenhagen has been a “cycling city” for many years. The city built at least one mile of cycleway every single year from 1912 to 1969, with just a slight hiatus between 1970 and 1974, followed by an even greater building spurt between 1975 and 1985, when five miles of cycleways were installed each and every year.
In the last twenty years, bicycle traffic has risen by 68%. This is partly because Copenhagen’s population is steadily growing, with the inner city set to increase from 600,000 to 715,000 people within the next fifteen years. It has also been increasingly challenging to drive to Copenhagen over the past decade because of the building of the Metro Cityring, an underground transit system.
Between 2012 and 2013, commuter cycling increased from 36% to 45%, a leap of 9%.
“For the first time since the City starting counting traffic entering the city center, there are more bikes than cars,” wrote urbanist Mikael Colville-Andersen in 2016.
“It is a clear indication that continuous municipal policy and investment in Best Practice infrastructure pays off,” he added.