16 June 2009

Luxury Bike Lanes for Aarhus

Another Bicycle Bridge
Aabuen - The cycle and pedestrian bridge on the Copenhagen Bicycle motorway.

Now this is taking bicycle infrastructure to the next level. Denmark's second city has approved funding for construction of a so-called luxury Super Bicycle Route [call 'em cycle tracks if you want] from the centre of the city to the suburban town of Lystrup.

Aarhus has a modal share for bicycles of about 25% and they have always lagged behind Denmark's third-largest city, Odense and the capital, Copenhagen, with regards to promoting cycling.

But these days, with all the focus on cycling infrastructure both here and abroad, it seems like a friendly competition is breaking out. A race for high-profile cycling projects can't be a bad thing. Prestige AND increased numbers of cyclists. A win-win situation.

In Aarhus there are a number of main cycle routes planned but the city council agreed to finance the Super Bicycle Route first before the others are begun. 15 million kroner [ca. €2 million] is earmarked for the project, which will be about 10 km in length.

The first super bicycle route will be a part of six super routes that are planned, fanning out from the town centre.

So... what's a Super Bicycle Route? There will be service stations along the way featuring air pumps and drinking fountains for cyclists, underpasses under the larger main roads to keep the flow moving and a Green Wave, like in Copenhagen where cyclists will hit green lights the whole way if they maintain a certain speed. On Copenhagen's Green Wave routes it's 20 km/h.

The bike lanes will be double as wide as they are now and at the end of the route in Lystrup there will be... get this... Park 'n Ride for commuters. Those who use the Djurlands motorway from the north, heading for Aarhus, can park their car and then hop on their bicycle for the last 10 km.
Bicycle Path by Night
Part of the Green Path, Copenhagen's bicycle motorway, by night.
The traffic department think that the new super route will be so lovely and effective that it will encourage commuters to park their cars.

Wonderful stuff. Innovative ideas. Let's hope Aarhus' modal share increases with this and other projects.
Via: Aarhus Stiftstidende

The Cycling Mayor - Bernhardt Jensen

It's not everyday I have news from Aarhus, but a legendary mayor of the city, Bernhardt Jensen - known as the Cycling Mayor - will be honoured with a statue in the city. He was mayor from 1958-1971 and was well-known for ditching his car in favour of the bicycle. This at a time when cars were starting to conquer the streets.

He was chosen as the greatest citizen of the city of Aarhus and I'm hoping the statue features him... on a bicycle.
Via: Politiken.


Kelvin said...

"Aarhus has a modal share for bicycles of about 25% and they have always lagged behind Denmark's third-largest city, Odense and the capital, Copenhagen, with regards to promoting cycling."

LOL you just have to rub it in our faces by suggesting that achieving a 25% modal share can still be considered a laggard, eh? ;)

Mikael said...

sorry... that mocking, nose-thumbing and face-in-it-rubbing wasn't actually intentional... :-)

there are actually many cities in Europe with about 25% modal share, so it's kind of lame when you're a Danish city.

townmouse said...

And there was me hoping that a 'luxury' bike lane was one that ran downhill in both direction. Not even in Denmark eh?

Melbourne Cyclist said...

-giggle at townmouse-

This sounds fantastic! Ok, so how hard is it to learn Danish?
(I figure that's the first step in moving to cycle-friendly-country!)

Strida Folding Bicycle said...

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Jan said...

townmouse: no, but they are working on it. However, a Danish politician/comedian once ran on the platform "a tailwind on all bike paths". He got elected...

Kim said...

Aye, give me a tail wind in both directions over a downhill any day. I just wish we could get the political classes here (in Scotland) to take cycling as seriously.

Anonymous said...

Love this bit of news. But if you really think about it, this "Super Bike Lane" is really a "Bike Highway." The American version will need 'ride-thru' hamburgers, of course. *g*

Anonymous said...

Quote: "Denmark's second city has..."

You left out the word "largest" in this sentence. It should have said "Denmark's second largest city has...".

Anonymous said...

The problem with the Lystrup path is that it has to go up a very long hill near Randersvej fom downtown.
This alone will probably keep many car commuters fom using Park 'n Ride becuase they don't want to get all sweaty climbing the hill when they already have a comfotable car the can drive all the way instead.
The good thing is that when going to work in Århus they can freewheel down the hill to work so they don't get the pulse up and get all sweaty already before work. The uphill part is on the way home after work.
I live in Århus and know many who take the bus between donwtown and especially the hilly north and northwestern parts of Århus just to avod te long hills.
Århus is a lot hillier than the very flat Copenhangen which unfortunatly tempts many in Århus to opt got the bus or car instead of the bike on many hilly routes in Århus.
Of course the hills aren't anything extreme like the very steep hills you see in e.g. San Fransisco, but none the less it's still enough for many to skip the bike and take the bus instead.
If you ride straight west fom downtown Århus along the lake to Brabrand at Silkeborgvej it's very falt, but in other directions there's more hills. There are some quite steep hills in Branbrand thouh if you ride north from Silkeborgvej at Branbrand lake.

Mikael said...

i didn't forget the word "largest". i just didn't write it. Aarhus is Denmark's second city AND second largest city.

Mikael said...

thanks for the input from aarhus.

Terry said...

I agree with anonymous - the cycling highway leading to Lystrup could be better aligned, although that means passing through the rich people area by the Risskov beach - I used to live at Risskov before, and trips to the rural areas north of Århus was a pain when I return in the evening because of the improbably steep gradient at Grenåvej.

One other reason why biking might be less popular in Århus is because of the rather hilly landscape - half of the town sits in a valley carved out by the river, while the rest sits on the hills looking over the sea and surrounding the downtown area. Trips into and out of the city usually means going down or climbing up steep hills, which can be exhausting for some.

Copenhagen in comparison, is so flat that when you spill a jar of marbles, they wouldn't go anywhere :)