Sunday, July 12, 2009

My Commute

My commute into and out of the city from my apartment just northwest of the city center is quick and easy.

This is, in part, because the city has taken measures to constantly preserve the efficiency of the bike path.

This is a shot of a bike track similar to the one on Norre Alle, the largest street on my commute.
It's a very typical intersection. The bike track is roughly 12' wide, nearly the same width as the pedestrian crosswalk, and the bike track is separated from the very busy 4 lane roadway by a raised curb. At each intersection, the bike path levels out to the same grade as the road but retains its bike specific designation through a swath of blue paint.

There is quite a bit of construction happening on Norre Alle at the moment. I'm guessing they're doing some plumbing or electrical work as the city has dug out the underside of the street. That means they have to dig out the earth underneath the bike lane, but luckily, they have this handy machine to make it all right again:
They also have this handy machine to keep it tidy once construction is complete.
It would be understandable if the bike lane was shut down whilst construction happened. But that is just not the way they roll here in Copenhagen.
They create the bike track regardless. Custom built street sweepers, pavement rollers designed to smooth out bike paths and the vigilant maintenance of the bike facilities--even through construction--all serve to sustain this vibrant population of bicyclists.


  1. Loving the blog, Anthony. I'd heard biking is a part of the Copenhagen life. Great to see it.

    I'm curious to know about cycling mortality stats over there to show people here who might be concerned about cycling safety.

    Also, I believe the cycling boom is still happening here in memphis based on the number of my friends who are buying bikes.

    Gregg Smith

  2. Hey Gregg--

    Thanks for the nice words, and thanks especially for the question. I plan to make a post about bicycle safety in the coming weeks, so be on the lookout for a detailed response soon.

    The simple answer to your question is this: empirical research proves that whenever the number of cyclists increases, bicycle safety also increases. There is a nice chart that the City of Copenhagen has put out that shows two lines. One line is an increase in ridership, the other line is death and injuries to bicyclists. As ridership line goes up, the death and injury line goes down.

    For a detailed discussion on this issue, see Jeff Mapes' chapter "Overcoming the Safety Barrier" in his book "Pedaling Revolution."

    Glad to hear Memphis bicycle culture is "rolling" along. Look for a longer discussion on bike safety in the coming weeks.