It is more than proven that carrying out daily journeys by bicycle brings great benefits individually and collectively. But we are not going to focus on these benefits in this post, we are going to delve into a key factor to enhance urban cycling, infrastructure.
Too often we find ourselves with underutilised bike lanes, and the reason is that they were not designed following a logical and useful pattern of mobility, but mostly to add kilometres of bike lanes that swell statistics in town halls. Bad connections between lanes, bike lanes interrupted by bus stops or containers, poor paving, traffic light phases designed for cars, obstacles like speed bumps designed to slow down the speed of motor vehicles … if you’ve been cycling through a city you’ll know that this is that we encounter every day.
In Denmark, where 90% of its inhabitants have a bike, and more specifically in Copenhagen, they thought that in order to increase the use of the bicycle as a regular means of transport they had to offer an infrastructure that would make safe, fast and daily journeys priority to the cyclist over the rest of vehicles. In 2012 the first “Supercykelstier” (Bicycle Highway), 17 kilometres long, was inaugurated, and it has been followed by 7 more. The plans are that by 2021, 15 routes have been built with 45 planned in total, covering the entire region of the capital to add approximately 746 kilometres.
These cycling highways are usually built over existing bike lanes and the necessary sections to create the network are built. They connect both residential and educational areas with business areas and hubs with other means of transport such as train stations. Each population is responsible for designing, constructing and co-financing with the state the bicycle highways that cross its municipality. In any case, there is a joint conceptual strategy for the entire project: that the journey from Point A to Point B is as safe, fast and efficient as possible. And they do so by giving total preference to the bike at intersections over other types of routes.
The results have been as expected, and in two of the existing routes that lacked adequate connections and infrastructures, the number of daily cyclists has increased from 34% to 61%.
You can find more information on the official website: https://supercykelstier.dk/