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Copenhagen Envy

In the bike world, Copenhagen seems like a fantasy. It comes up in so many bike infrastructure conversations. When structuring how bikes will work with the First Hill Streetcar, the word Copenhagen is everywhere from the cycle track to the bike boxes. And if you watch the Streetfilm above, you get an idea why.

One thing that stands out in the film are the parents biking with children. It raises an interesting point: A five-foot bike lane may be good enough to make me feel safe, but is it wide enough to make a parent feel safe letting their kid ride with them. This is a good question for Car Free Days, I suppose.

In order for bikes to truly break into the mainstream (36 percent of residents in Copenhagen bike to work), bike lanes will need to keep growing, both longer and wider. Seattle has a long way to go still, but there really is a point where it will simply make more sense to a large percentage of the city’s residents to take their bikes. And when that happens, political support for touchy bike infrastructure issues will follow, urging more riding, etc. But it’s going to take fighting and persistence by bikers to make sure we get there.

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One response to “Copenhagen Envy”

  1. Adam Parast

    Well cycle tracks in Copenhagen originally were 1.5 meters ~5 ft. The new design standard is 2 meters. 2 meter is nice for side by side riding, 1.5 is a bit too narrow.

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