Copenhagen is already one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world, with 55% of its citizens riding a bicycle daily. Now the question is how to get commuters from outlying areas biking too. The answer is the bicycle superhighway.
Local pro-bike blog Copenhagenize reports that the city is planning a series of super bicycle routes from the suburbs, for people who bike more than 10K to get to work. The idea is to create roads where people can ride their bicycles steadily at over 20 km per hour, without worrying that they'll have to deal with too much car traffic or with passing other bikes on narrow roads.
The routes will be developed on the existing bike lanes but they will have a number of improved features, according to the City's vision:
- Smooth, even surfaces free of leaves, ice and snow.
- As direct as possible with no detours.
- Homogenous visual expression, for example, with signage and the trademark blue bike lanes through larger intersections.
- 'Service stations' with air and tools along the routes.
- Possibility to maintain a high speed and with sufficient width to overtake other cyclists.
- Safe and quick crossing priority for cyclists when they approach cross streets.
- Green Wave for cyclists through sections with frequent stop lights. [The Green Wave is in place on three main routes into Copenhagen already. Cycle 20 km/h and you hit green lights all the way.]
If the future of urban transport is the bicycle, and many city planners as well as energy experts argue that it is, then surely this kind of road represents the future of commuting. A similar plan is underway in the Danish city of Aarhus too.