Mobility  |  Successes  |  15.12.2014

Good biking karma from Copenhagen

The Danish capital Copenhagen has set itself the ambitious goal to be the world’s best city for cyclists. Copenhagen aims to have 50% of people cycling to their workplace by 2015 (in 2010 this figure was already 35%). Prioritising bicycles as the method of transport is also one effective part of the Danish goal to have CO2 neutrality by 2025. The friendly attitude towards biking is promoted for example by taking cyclists needs into account in infrastructure planning, building new places to store bikes and educating the commuters about good biking culture.

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In the 1980’s Copenhagen became the model city on how to construct separate bike lanes and take cities over back from cars. Today the city plans and builds diligently in order to keep up with its cycle-friendly image.  In June 2014 Copenhagen introduced the new skyway for cyckilst Cykelslangen, in English this means Cycle Snake. This roadway over the harbor aims to ease congestions and make cycling to work even more easy and enjoyable for Copenhageners. The city is planning to build more biking lanes and crossing biking bridges to facilitate biking. 

In order to ensure the pleasure of biking in the city and assisting with creating a friendly biking culture, the city of Copenhagen has set up 50 ‘karma spots’ near the biking lanes where they reward bikers who show consideration in the traffic to others. Cyclist who behave kindly towards fellow commuters are handed small gifts, such as candy and stickers, to courage their accommodating behaviour. With this campaign, the city hopes biking to become safer in the city streets. The campaign also reminds people what good biking behaviour is: showing hand signs when turning, ringing the bell when necessary and riding on the right side of the lane. 

A biking festival, Kobenhavns Cykelfestival, is organised annually to provide people a change to fix old biked and buy new ones. During the day, bike flea markets and bike fixing workshops are organised while bands play music and food and drinks flow. In recent years the festival has become international with participants arriving from other Nordic countries.  Kobenhavns Cykelfestival is a non-commercial event based on the organiser’s volunteer work input. 

Biking in Copenhagen does not stop during the chilly winter days. The city mandate states that snow must be cleaned from the bike lanes before the car lanes are cleaned. This is a reason why most bikers still prefer to choose cyclking instead of driving in winter days. It is important to have a light attached on your bike. It is also clever to change winter tires to your bicyckle when biking in the wintery conditions. 

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