Some time ago, we mentioned that Copenhagen has been awarded the title of most cycle friendly city in the world. Apparently, that was not the only record! As of December 2016, data shows that the bikes outnumbered the cars in the Danish capital: 265,700 bikes compared with 252,600 cars.
Wait...how do you count bikes?
The story behind the count is quite interesting: since the ‘70s, Copenhagen municipality has been performing traffic counts manually, carefully listing cars and bikes. After all those years of counting, in 2009, the first electric bike counter appeared: a sensor, located in the asphalt on the bike lane - a few metres in front of the counter registers the cyclists passing by. The counter sends the data to City of Copenhagen's Center for Traffic. As it only registers cyclists on the side of the street which is closer to it and not the other side, the count is doubled to take into account cyclists going in both directions.
A safe cycling infrastructure
How did they make it? Copenhagen heavily invested (the equivalent of £115m since 2005) in a safe cycling infrastructure - a wide network of bike and pedestrian-only lanes and bridges, that also add value to the city landscape. Check out the architecturally bold Cykelslangen (the Bicycle Snake)! This investment has paid off: only last year, bicycle traffic increased of 15%.
What about London?
In terms of bike counts, London is improving: during morning peak hours, in 2000, 137,000 drivers entered Central London every day. By 2014, that number had dropped to 64,000. While just 12,000 people cycled in the same area in 2000, 36,000 were counted by 2014. Quite a substantial increase, although London’s cycling infrastructure is not as developed and safe as Copenhagen's one. We must say, however, that Transport for London has several projects in the pipeline: one of them is the ambitious East-West Cycle Superhighway which should be ready, at least partially, this winter!
Fly through the route to see how your ride will look like!
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