16 December 2010

Munich's Positive Bicycle Campaigns

An excellent film about Munich's campaign to increase the levels of bicycle traffic in the city using positive marketing techniques. To make cycling in the city "normal" and "cool". Using civic pride, photo competitions and the triangular concept of Attention, Identification and Participation.

Well worth a watch. It's really a fine example of what we go on about here at Copenhagenize. Promoting cycling positively.

Although I love this quote: "Bicycle culture has to do with the beer gardens." :-)

Spotted over at Münchenierung.


bikefish said...

Copenhagenize.com and cyclechic have gotten under the waterlogged skin of this Seattle senior citizen cyclist and I'm trying to sort out a response. On the one hand, I truly adore the positive approach to bicycle advocacy (that little ad from ..was it Hungary? with the two couples and the shaking bed and the postman on his bike.. can't get better than that!) and I wholeheartedly endorse the goal of presenting bicycling as a simple, enjoyable, everyday part of life. On the other hand, as I ride around my hometown, I have to recognize that with things as they are, you have to be a bit of a nut to want to ride a bike here. For years we've had "bike paths" painted on the roads that just suddenly end, with no warning and no suggestion of what a person on a bicycle is supposed to do (fly? teleport?). Our master bicycle plan, bless its heart, has caused more of these paths to continue, and has even resulted in one or two signs suggesting that drivers should pay attention when bike lanes inexplicably end. Over the past couple of years we've seen "sharrows" cropping up on many streets, indicating to drivers that they should expect to see people on bicycles. This is a positive step - I've been riding on these roads for many years and I like the recognition that I belong there. But there are "sharrows" in some pretty strange places - for example on one of the major roads into the city center where the right lane is filled most of the day with buses, there are "sharrows" painted on the pavement indicating that bicycles belong there in the right lane - the sharrows shift from the far right side of the lane to the left side, suggesting that I'm supposed to wedge myself in between the buses and the regular traffic to my left. You are not going to get any little kids, or many other women my age, out into that kind of bicycle infrastructure!
Which leads to the next point - that we have a strong and vocal community of people who insist on riding bikes and insist that the streets do not just belong to cars. But when we ride in that insanity, it really is dangerous! Just yesterday I picked my bike up from the shop. I had deliberately left my helmet at home, thinking "Mikael and I are going to show these silly Culture of Fear ninnies!" But in the rain, in the dark, with no place to ride but the street (or the sidewalk, competing with people with umbrellas) - I ended up walking my bike almost all the way home, it was too scarey to get out there in traffic without my helmet. Still, it rankled me that when I dropped my bike off at REI, I was asked to sign a statement acknowledging that I would assume all risks associated with riding AND that I promised to wear a helmet (I'm sorry, I signed anyway without even protesting).

bikefish said...

Here's a couple things I do that are in the spirit of Copenhagenize:
Would you believe that when the Seattle Bicycle Program announced the unveiling of the Bicycle Master Plan a few years ago, they sent out an email invitation with directions for how to get to the event - taking the freeway! No mention of how to get there by bike. I called them on that.
The biggest health care organization in our state has sponsored a 200-mile bike ride every year for probably 20 years - but it took 10 years of nagging to get them to replace a useless, bike-wrecking bike rack in front of their clinic. There is still NO indication when you approach their facilities that people on bicycles are expected and welcome.
I carry my bike up to customer service at the fancy department store downtown - excuse me, where can I park my bike? The head of customer service promises to find an answer when I ask WHY is there no bike parking anywhere on the property. Why? well it's not needed (there are bike racks across the street!) - not consistent with their high-class image.. I send him links to Copenhagen Cyclechic - to no avail so far, but Mikael, I'm not giving up. I did persuade a conference center, located just a few blocks from Seattle's premium tourist attraction and most the the big hotels AND right on one of our few separated bike paths, to include bike, bus and walking directions on its website..
But how do we get from here (a few crazy nutcases riding in wild traffic) to carefree citizen cyclists of all ages taking bikes for granted like toasters?

bikefish said...

and one more thing, Mikael - in Seattle, everyday Seattle chic is layers of shapeless coverings to be shed or added depending on the intensity of the rain - whether or not it's raining at the moment and independent of the season. So just because I cover my ordinary clothes with rain pants and layer a bright green shell over my fleece jacket when I ride, you should NOT exclude me from the ranks of CycleChic!

William said...

First off: I believe you're chic underneath the limegreen shell. Being chic also has to do with posture, and you do definitely hold your head high.
Half the reason I visit this site is to read the comments - having lived in Copenhagen all my life, I do not know much about what life is like in other places - the comments give such personal insights into how people feel about where they are.
Thank you for your story.

Green Idea Factory said...

@bikefish: I don't get that helmet promise thing from REI.

Anonymous said...

Can someone tell me what BMW agreed with Munich city hall for the uppermost limit for bike modal share?

bikefish said...

@Green Idea Factory -
the helmet promise was part of the agreement I signed when I left my bike to be worked on at REI - part of the small print.

Green Idea Factory said...

@bikefish: Oh, that's right, there is a mandatory all-ages helmet law in King County. http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/bike/helmets.htm

bikefish said...

@Green Idea Factory - sshhh! we don't talk about that much around here.