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Amsterdam and Copenhagen Leading Shift to Bike Commuting

7 May 2007

Wall Street Journal. Amsterdam and Copenhagen, cities in which 40% and 33% of workers commute by bike, are launching new initiatives designed to accelerate a shift to bike commuting, including increased prison time for bike thieves and the construction of new parking facilities that can hold up to 10,000 bikes.

The rest of Europe is paying close attention. Officials from London, Munich and Zurich (plus a handful from the U.S.) have visited Amsterdam’s transportation department for advice on developing bicycle-friendly infrastructure and policies. Norway aims to raise bicycle traffic to at least 8% of all travel by 2015—double its current level—while Sweden hopes to move from 12% to 16% by 2010. This summer, Paris will put thousands of low-cost rental bikes throughout the city to cut traffic, reduce pollution and improve parking.

The city of Copenhagen plans to double its spending on biking infrastructure over the next three years, and Denmark is about to unveil a plan to increase spending on bike lanes on 2,000 kilometers, or 1,240 miles, of roads. Amsterdam is undertaking an ambitious capital-improvement program that includes building a 10,000-bike parking garage at the main train station—construction is expected to start by the end of next year. The city is also trying to boost public transportation usage, and plans to soon enforce stricter car-parking fines and increase parking fees to discourage people from driving.

Last month, the European Economic and Social Committee, an organization of transportation ministers from EU member countries, adopted a policy goal to have bicycle trips replace many short car trips, which account for 6% of total emissions from cars.

May 7, 2007 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)

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Sounds great. I wish American cities would follow. Bits and pieces exist in places like Northern Virgina (a few trails, a few bike lanes, some bike lockers at Metro stations) but there isn't a coordinated effort to make an entire overlapping/parallel system for bikes. It will be needed soon.

Sounds great. I wish American cities would follow. Bits and pieces exist in places like Northern Virgina (a few trails, a few bike lanes, some bike lockers at Metro stations) but there isn't a coordinated effort to make an entire overlapping/parallel system for bikes. It will be needed soon.

I live in northern Italy , and here it is practically suicide to venture onto
the roads on the bike , there is no intrest by the government to build
cycleways between towns , there are also very few pavements by the
side of the roads even in the towns , so everyone drives almost everywhere
even to the only cycle track in the area around a local lake .
I was always under the impression that Italy was the cradle of
civilization !

Wow, Norway hopes to have 8% of all traffic on bicycles! Sweden wants 16%, and they already have 12% of traffic in the form of bicycles! I'm floored! Now, if the USA could just get 1% to switch to bicycles, that would be REALLY shocking. And, we'd have a lower incidence of heart disease and morbid obesity. Plus, get this, people might actually realize how simple and easy it actually is to adapt to a carbon neutral lifestyle!

Now I have TWO reasons to move to the Netherlands. De Dampkring AND bicycle parking garages!

I cycle 9 miles to work across Dublin nearly every day.
For individuals of working age, in cities, in a temperate climate, it is a perfectly good solution.

By all means have a car, but use it sparingly - consider what a luxury it is to have such personal transport.

Look back in history and realize how unusual it is for so many people to have such mobility - and try to plan how we can keep it going.

Think of the people on Easter island and Jared Diamond's comment - what were they thinking when they cut down the last tree ?

Tiny little flat countries. So what. Let me know when Al Gore ditches the SUV in favor of a bike.

This works in tiny, flat and *temperate* countries. I'd love to commute by bike year round here in Boston, but unfortunately the weather only cooperates four or so months in the year. The peak of summer is often far too hot (you cannot show up at your destination soaked in sweat), and most of the winter is far to cold and sloppy for comfortable biking.

Where I used to live you didnt bike vecause it was illegal as you jad to go on freeways to get anywhere. Rhey did try putting in a bike path.. but it pettered out rapidly after they found the local murderers liked it even more then the cyclists...

Weather is not a problem. There are fully enclosed velomobiles for cold climate riding:

http://www.go-one.de/ukindex.shtml

At almost $10,000 assembled in the US, I do not see a market for the "go-one".

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