Currently viewing the tag: "Copenhagen"

Copenhagen isn’t content with the fact that only 55% percent of its population bikes everyday. In order to encourage more bicycling, they are expanding their bicycling network to the outlying areas with bicycle superhighways. The idea is for bicyclists to maintain an average speed of 12mph by utilizing a series of three existing bicycle routes which will be converted into bicycle super highways with a series of improvements which include timed lights. Read more about it here. Simply brilliant.

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Copenhagen Bike Counter

Thanks to Chris Podstawski for this image of the Dronning Louises Bro from his recent trip to Scandanavia. Translated it reads:

You are cyclist number 10124 today of aggregate 976942 cyclists since June 15, 2009 on this stretch.

That’s an average of between 12,000 and 13,000 cyclists per day! Very cool.

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Originally uploaded by Ping
This is the title of a paper, written by Lars Gemzoe, a Danish professor of urban design at the School of Architecture in Copenhagen. In this paper, he uses Copenhagen as a case study to illustrate the changes that helped change the Danish Capital from an autocentric city to a pedestrian friendly one.

During the first half of the twentieth century, Copenhagen didn’t have many outdoor gathering places. In the 1960’s Stroget, the main street of the inner city, was converted to a pedestrian only street. In the following years more plazas and spaces were also converted to pedestrian use only, and people started doing more than walking. They were strolling, sitting down to enjoy the weather, watching street performers, people watching, etc. It had become a destination — a high quality urban space.

The changes in the city came through a slow process, reducing parking 2-3% year, taking away traffic space and dedicating it to urban spaces, and implementing bike lanes, among other improvements.

Miami has its own success story, Lincoln Road. But maybe things shouldn’t stop there. Miami-Dade County could be more pedestrian friendly. We have the weather and tourism as an advantage. Up and coming areas like Downtown and the Design District would be ideal areas for pedestrianised areas.

Find the full paper here.

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What is taking Miami so long to embrace bicycle-oriented policies? Given the area’s fantastic year-round weather, terrible traffic congestion, underdeveloped mass transit, and fairly dense urban core (i.e. Miami proper, Miami Beach, downtown Gables), one would think Miami would be at the forefront of developing bicycle-oriented infrastructure. This certainly hasn’t been the case, however. As of this day, there are only a handful of bicycle lanes in all of Miami-Dade County, and they are located primarily in the suburbs of Coral Gables and Key Biscayne.
Mayor Diaz’s Green initiatives provide an excellent foundation for sustainability in Miami, I find that a bicycle-boosting initiative is conspicuously missing. If you google “Miami” and “bike”, you’ll sadly get more results for bike-related activities in Ohio’s Miami Valley then in America’s southernmost metropolis. Doing some quick research, the only mention of bicycle projects was at the MPO’s website. However, there are only a very small number of bike projects being considered, and all of them are either fragmented suburban routes or recreational trails. It appears there is very little direction or leadership for improved bicycle policy in Miami. Meanwhile, many cities across the county and around the world are pedaling full speed ahead (pun intended) with their own initiatives to promote bicycling as a popular, sustainable, safe, and effective means of transportation.

  • New York, NY: An elaborate city website exhibits all the bike information you could ever need, including maps. The City already has several hundred miles of bike lanes cris-crossing all five boroughs, yet plans to implement another 900 lane miles of bike lanes and greenways. NYC even has a bicycle master plan, which, if I am not mistaken, is completely foreign to any municipal body in Miami-Dade.
  • Louisville, Kentucky: The City is in the process of implementing a citywide system of bike lanes and paths. Mayor Jeffrey Abramson, who keynoted the 2007 National Bike Summit in Washington, has adopted a “complete streets” policy that requires bike lanes as apart of all major road improvements.
  • Seattle, Washington: Creating safer cycling conditions is the City’s top priority. The City is about to implement its own Bicycle Master Plan, a 10-year strategy to create 200+ miles of bike lanes citywide.
  • Portland, Oregon: A national leader in urban bicycle policy, the City’s fantastic website has extensive biking information. Everything from maps, guides, and brochures - it’s on the website.
  • Copenhagen, Denmark: Perhaps the most bicycle-friendly city on Earth, 32% of residents bike to work. This is despite being a city with a climate that is cool, wet, and dreary for much of the year - the antithesis of Miami (so much for all those lame weather excuses Miamians use to drive everywhere). So 32% of residents bike to work…fantastic, right? Not good enough for Copenhagen. The City has set a goal to increase this percentage to 40%.
Photo courtesy of Flickr account: vj_pdx

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