Copenhagen: A Bike Friendly City

July 10, 20143132722772_c767ecc5e1_z

With environmentalism spreading in popular culture, more people are opting to bike rather than drive when possible. Yet even as Americans fall more in love with biking, American cities can’t compare to the bike -friendly city of Copenhagen, Denmark. It’s Denmark’s government, however, that makes it so appealing.

Have you ever been in a biking situation where there are no bike lanes, the street is busy and so are the sidewalks? You’d be hard pressed to find that in Copenhagen. According to Denmark’s official web site 36% of citizens commute via bike covering .75 million miles a day. More people commute by bike in Copenhagen alone than in the entire United States. 80% of these cyclists continue to bike even throughout the harshness of winter.

It is their abundance of bike lanes and their new—and first ever—cycle super highway that make it so easy for cyclists to make their way around. This super highway is a 310 mile network aimed to help cyclists commuting from outside of the bike friendly city. The best part? Automatic air pumps are placed strategically along the highway to keep the bikers of Denmark safe. Though the amount of bikers have increased since the construction of this infrastructure by 20%, individual accident rates have dropped.

It is estimated that all the biking in Copenhagen saves 90,000 tons of Carbon Dioxide emissions annually. With numbers like that, it’s no wonder that they were named the first biker city and the European Green Capital of 2014 (awarded June 24th).

It’s time for American cities to make biking a more appealing mode of transportation. With the expansion of bike lanes, better cycle parking, and the availability of public bicycles, bike friendly cities can be a possibility.

-Malissa Stark

Photo Credit: Flickr/ Jill, Jellidonut

, ,