They Are Building Bicycle Superhighways in Copenhagen

danish copenhagen commuter routes

I learned the hard way recently about a terrific website that promotes "Copenhagenizing," noting that "Each and every day 500,000 people ride their bicycle to work or school in Copenhagen."

Whereas in North America we are, as one writer puts it, "fighting for infrastructure a few hundred metres at a time", Copenhagenizing tells us that they are now installing "bicycle superhighways" stretching far into the suburbs.

What does it take to be a bicycle superhighway?

Part of the Green Path, Copenhagen's bicycle motorway, by night. [Zakkaliciousness], on Flickr, from another post on Copenhagenize

- Smooth, even surfaces free of leaves, ice and snow.

- As direct as possible with no detours.

- Homogenous visual expression, for example, with signage and the trademark blue bike lanes through larger intersections.

- 'Service stations' with air and tools along the routes.

- Possibility to maintain a high speed and with sufficient width to overtake other cyclists.

- Safe and quick crossing priority for cyclists when they approach cross streets.

- Green Wave for cyclists through sections with frequent stop lights. [The Green Wave is in place on three main routes into Copenhagen already. Cycle 20 km/h and you hit green lights all the way.]

They are spending $47 million to do it. No chance of that happening in North America, even with all that stimulus money sloshing around.

More at Copenhagenize


Yes, this is what we ( who ride bicycles) would love to have here in New Zealand too but...
Democracy is a numbers game so it's never going to happen here with our elected politicians steadfastly maintaining the status quo by serving the interests of the auto-petro corporates and the vast car-driving majority who refuse en-masse to endure the risks that complying with existing laws compels cyclists to take.

Our laws, which deem bicycles to be 'vehicles',force all cyclists to share 'the combat zone' with motorised traffic and to endure wearing helmets:
By limiting our right to choose what we deem to be the safest route,they suppress demand for cycling among the risk averse 'vulnerable user' demographics( i.e. most 'ordinary' kiwis).
It won't be until we change these laws that we'll start to see a growth in interest in cycling by a much broader section of society and a consequent growth in demand for the kinds of bicycles (i.e the ones that are prevalent in the European and Japanese cycletopias) that make cycling practicable and convenient by 'ordinary' folks, the elderly, women, children, the unathletic etc...

When that happens, we'll have the numbers, and the political credibility , like they have now ( but haven't always had) in Denmark, to get bicycle superhighways built in New Zealand cities and towns.

So what has to happen first ?

Alan Preston in Mangawhai, Northland.
Promoting urban appropriate utility bicycles and utility cycling in New Zealand

Who is the most cycle-friendly candidate for the first mayor of Auckland’s new supercity? Anyone know?

If we could get someone like Boris in London, we might have a chance for something good, in Auckland at least!


Auckland Cycle Chic