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Copenhagen building bicycle friendly superhighways

[ 2010-11-30 15:36]     字号 [] [] []  
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People ride their bicycles on Noerrebrogade boulevard, Copenhagen, on Oct 2. Copenhagen is already one of the world's most bicycle-friendly cities. (Agencies)

Copenhagen, one of the world's most bicycle-friendly cities, has begun turning its extensive network of cycle paths into bike highways in an effort to push more commuters to leave their cars at home.

Considered one of Europe's two "bicycle capitals" along with Amsterdam, Copenhagen counts more bicycles than people and cycling is so popular that its numerous bike paths can become congested.

Two-wheeler traffic jams are especially regular on the main Noerrebrogade thoroughfare used by around 36,000 cyclists a day. "You have to elbow your way in to go forward and some cyclists aren't always thoughtful," complains 22-year-old university student Lea Bresell.

The creation of bike highways "comes right on time", says Danish Cyclist Federation spokesman Frits Bredal.

"Copenhagen's roads are overloaded with people who want to ride their bicycles in all kinds of weather," he says.

If in the 1960s Danes viewed the car as the symbol of freedom, the bicycle has assumed that role today, Bredal says.

"It's a mode of transportation used by all social classes, even politicians ride bikes," he says.

It is on crowded Noerrebrogade - the busiest bicycle street in Europe, according to the cyclist association - that city planners have decided to build the first of Copenhagen's environmentally friendly boulevards. The jammed bike paths will be widened up to four meters on either side of the road, which will itself be reserved for buses only.

The idea is to make Noerrebrogade "Europe's great cycling street", says Andreas Roehl, the Copenhagen municipality's bicycle program manager who is also known as "Mister Bike".

But Roehl is not content with making life easier for Copenhagen's inner-city cyclists: He wants to get suburbanites out of their cars and onto two wheels as well.

His goal is to hike the percentage of suburban commuters cycling to and from the city from the 37 percent it is today to more than 50 percent by 2015. Within the city, 55 percent of all commuters already travel by bike, according to the municipality.

Already Copenhagen stands out among other European capitals for its cycling infrastructure, counting more than 390 kilometers of bike paths.






(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)