13 December 2007

What Do You Give Cyclists Who Have Everything?

Sunrise Movement in Concerto (by [Zakkaliciousness])
The City of Copenhagen has decided to double the current bicycle budget. Normally there is 75 million Danish kroner a year [€10 million / $15 million] but now they are chucking in an extra 75 million.

The reason? Making Copenhagen the world's unrivalled bike capital by 2015, as well as the leading environmentally-friendly city by the same date.

The cool thing is that the extra 75 million is earmarked for "spoiling" the city's cyclists and it is the people who get to decide how the extra money will be used. Now THAT is a gift that keeps on giving.

So... what do the cyclists of Copenhagen want? Two workshops were held and the public was invited to bring suggestions and ideas to the table. The City's Technical and Environmental Commission will work out the costs and figure out which items on the wishlist are possible.

This is a list of some of the ideas presented by citizens. The headline was "The City in 2015 - how does it look?"

A CYCLING MEKKA
Cyclists have conquered the streets
There are few accidents
There is room for both fast and slow cyclists
Cyclists get a tax break for riding
The main boulevards are now underground tunnels for cars.

INFRASTRUCTURE
Cycle tunnels under and bridges over the harbour
Bike paths all the way along the harbour, on both sides
Bike motorways straight to the city centre
Cycling allowed in all green areas (some parks are bike-free zones)
Three lane bike lanes for different speeds
Green Wave system on all traffic lights

LIFESTYLE
Trendsetting bike design
Bikes that symbolise who I am
Our City Bikes are gorgeously designed

EXPERIENCES
Beautiful routes with great views
More trees planted along bike routes
More bike events

SERVICE
Creation of service stations along bike routes where you can pump your tyres and charge bike lights
The City loans out free bikes
Free City Bikes to all Copenhageners
Free bike lights
Mandatory warning sounds on busses when turning

BEHAVIOUR
Cycling courses for locals and tourists
A city without bike locks
No bikes left behind
Everyone checks over their shoulder before turning
Cycling training tracks for kids
Everyone is friendly and smiles

PARKING
Many smart bike racks
Fantastically gorgeous bike parking
Newly-invented multistory bike parking
Bike racks with attached service centres
More covered bike racks.

Sure, we're spolied already after almost a half a century of urban planning and investment in infrastructure, but it is interesting to see what our citizens would choose if they had the opportunity.

Which they do.

There is a very cool website called Copenhagen X
- Your shortcut to an evolving city. It highlights all the architectural and design developments in Copenhagen.

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