The Copenhagen Bicycle Strategy: Read And Weep…

I’ve spent the last couple of hours examining the Copenhagen Bicycle Strategy 2011-2025 as part of my research for the new book. It’s enough to make your average British cyclist weep. Well worth a read but have tissues to hand…

Draft extract from The 35 Degrees: Tarifa to Nordkapp on a Bike Called Reggie:

Forward planning is nothing new to the people of Copenhagen. It explains, perhaps, why the city’s current ‘Bicycle Strategy’ covers not just two, three or even five years, but fourteen; 2011 to 2025. It replaces, incidentally, the shockingly brief period covered by the ‘Cycle Policy 2002-2012’.

“Cycling is not a goal in itself but rather a highly prioritised political tool for creating a more liveable city.

So writes Ayfer Baykal, the ‘Technical and Environmental Mayor’ of the city. I can’t imagine those words ever being committed to paper by a politician in Britain lest one day they be quoted back to them in litigation. The Copenhagen Bicycle Strategy document is littered with practical, costed plans that would make your average cyclist in the UK weep. Tissue ready?

“The goal is 3 lanes in each direction on 80% of the network…”, “In 2025, most one-way streets for cyclists have been eliminated…”, “Funding has been allocated to intelligent traffic system solutions for cyclists. Pilot projects with LED lights embedded in the asphalt, perhaps with alternating use of space like virtual bus stop islands…”

I don’t even know what a ‘virtual bus stop island’ is. But I’m sure someone at Copenhagen city hall is busy making sure they build one.

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