Copenhagen wasn’t always a bicycle rider’s dream.
Like cities all over the US, Copenhagen once embraced car culture as a mark of economic advancement after the depression, and post WWII. By the mid-1960s streets were clogged with cars. More and more traffic fatalities occurred, and cars had a environmental impacts. Then came the oil crisis of 1973…and Copenhagen responded differently than the US. Instead of implementing the dangerous “right turn on red” to keep cars moving to save gas, Copenhagen made it less desirable to drive and easier and safer to ride bikes. While we’ve struggled more and more over the years with traffic congestion, crashes, and hard-to-find parking, Copenhageners protested, and have been getting more and more bike infrastructure ever since. Here’s how it was done.
James Thoem is a project manager with Copenhagenize, a consultancy that works with cities to create more bicycle-friendly streets. He is working on a project for the City of Detroit, creating its entire greater downtown bicycle strategy.
What Bicycle-Friendly Copenhagen Can Teach Us About Commuting
Copenhagen Special to the Globe and Mail