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Cycling Copenhagen thru Nort America eyes.

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Copenhagen is best case scenerio for bicycles. They properly integrated bikes into the transportation fabric. I think one of the main thing is separated bike lanes. Which makes people feel safer. Wherever way you go. You have a sense of a very humane and human city. And for the people here is just part of their daily life to cycle and i just find that amazing. Cycling copenhagen thru North American eyes. In june 2010, 1000 bike advocates officials, and transportation experts from.. ..around the world met in Copenhagen for the Velo-City Global Conference. The fact that there are around hundred people here from USA, Canada. I think is ..cause for optimizing. ´Cause i think one of the things we lacked in US is the real belief that.. ..this stuff actually works.That we´ve been sort of making it up and saying; copenhagen.. like this. But, until you really see it and touch it and feel it for yourself. And.. ride the streets of Copenhagen during rush hour. Its hard to believe. They have created a system where every single road works for bicycling. Some of them are quite streets where you just ride right on the street. Some of them have painted bike lanes. But more often they have cycle tracks. Which are these elevated bike paths. Its only 2 or 3 inches of elevation with a little bit of curb and some asphalt filled in. But the differences is makes is really profound. They really made safe facilities, comfy facilities, that are welcoming for people.. ..all skill levels. What you do have is alot cargo bikes that are often moved slower. You got a mom or dad pedalling one, two, sometimes three children in the cargo bikes. And that slow speed is not accomodated, but its almost celebrated. A lot of times in the US when you ride your bike, you feel almost like outlaw oh¡ «can i just find tiny space for myself. Here you just feel like you just laying out the red carpet for you. In our american cities when you come to a busy street, thats when you tense up… …and wonder “Can i get across the street“. When you come to a busy street here,… …“oh! good i know i gonna find the cycle track and its gonna be a quick route and…“ …i´m gonna be where i need be in 5 minutes. I mean what a difference from just about any place else i´ve been. I love the counters on the side of the road and makes you feel like you should be.. ..on the road, that its ok to be here. You dont feel like anyone gonna tell you to.. ..get out of the way. ....Just standing in copenhagen at naboga, the busiest street for cycling in copenhagen. Last year we put this machine up. There is now 36,000 cyclists per day in this steet. To stand and see a couple of hundred cyclists go thru an intersection and then.. ..realize that just a block away there´s another another hundred coming on there. You know its a phenomenal experience. We went by the counter last night and i was cyclist 10,361. That is amazing. It just feel really empowering to know whats possible. In Copenhagen its mainstream who go on the bike, its everybody, its all incomes,.. ..all age groups, female, male. That means the average cyclist is prettty relax person. WOMEN AND CHILDREN ON BIKES. I´ve heard that some of copenhagen stats its 55% women biking here in the city. Which is impressive and feels like that. One of the main thing is separate bike lanes, which makes people feel safer. And the slow speed of cars also makes them feel safer with their kids. You see there like-of-kids. The cargo bikes ,you know, the child is in the front with you. You can bring groceries, its just totally utilitarian-everyday-kind-of stuff. Why wouldnt ride, why wouldnt women and children ride here. It just seem so practical and so obvious. You see these women wearing skirts and dresses and high heels, just pedalling... ..around. They obviously feel comfy taking their kids on bicycles. The one thing i notice here are alot really little bikes and they´re like 4-year old kids. And they ride straight line and super on it. They ride better than most american adults. The kids have training at schools. In the 3rd year, 3rd grade and again in 9th grade. They have to do a proficiency test. On the bicycling signaling and all that stuff. My son is 8. He`s riding on the bike to the kinder garden.. ..or today care when is 3-1/2. With his training wheels. You know, riding alone. Its the way it have to. Its a practical solution.. ..that kids have to start riding. So you can get around the city. COURTEOUS DRIVERS The drivers get tamed. It was my expression. They look before crossing. Lots of intersections, i´ve seen, a cars wants to turn right, and just sits their... ...waiting while 4, 5, 6, bikes go by and then when the croast is clear then they... ...make their right turn. Drivers are so comfy and familiar, what to do round cyclists. Even when you remove... …all the infrastructure in sense that you´re on a street without any bike infrastructure. You still feel very safe. There is sort-of driver education component, but the speed is basically doing it. I think, thats what brings people down and people being accustomed to cyclists in general. we would trust them, on such a fantastic level. ´Cause that lady or guy in the car, they have a bike at home. They´re on the bicycling when they were 5, 6 years old. So, we understand each other.. .. we all cyclists. The more people ride, the more motors expects to see cyclists out there... ...the safer becomes. there are safety in numbers. Its just we been brought out with this. I didnt think about until i went to NY. Thats when i became aware of what we do here. Biking is just a part of our life. CONVENIENCE, COMFORT AND ACCOMODATION. I never once had to lift up my bike, there´s ramps at every stairwell, there´s places to... ...your bike. Its lovely. One of the thing is just an incredible feeling, a freedom here.. to roll up to your apartment, a store or restaurant. You slip the key into that simple.. ..little back tyre lock, click it, pull the key out and walk away. No wrapping a chain around a tree or pole. It makes even shorter bicycle trips more possible. Its impressive to see that special infrastructure, the special traffic treatments. The little tiny turn pockets, the traffic signalization. We have the green wave here... ...the signal timing that supports continuous and comfy bike movement. You have green wave adjusted for the speed of bike instead of the speed of a car. We have, a stretch where you can pass, if you travel with 20 kmh, then you can pass.. 14 traffic lights that all be green for you. Whereever they´re doing construction, road construcction. They all drop temporary.. ...asphalt ramps. Even if they working on it for a half a day or, a couple of hours. You never have a curb where you approach. There always will be a transition. This is Danish Parliment, where i work. One of our big victories in recent years was.. ..we got 10 to 15 parking lots shut down and turned into bike parkins. Every morning you´ll see all people working in the Parliament coming with their bikes. Placing them in front of the Parliament. This is the most beautiful wonderful bike city... the whole world. Too much, in USA, there´s a feeling of the other. That somebody on a bike, thats not me. That´s some different creature. Here, its very clear. A person on a cycle, thats just me, using a different mode of transportation. Copenhagen has hit some point of transformation where biking is cheaper, … …easier, quicker, perhaps safer than any other mode of transport. And so, its just what people do. I think if we can succeed in making our streets back home safe and welcoming for... ..moms, for parents bringing thier children out, we will have succeeded. The painted bike lanes are great for the committed and enthusiastic cyclist, but for.. big swath of the population, that wont be enough. You need to find a way to give bicycle riders a place thats comfy and invating, and has a sense of safety. We dont have that yet. So, we need to move on that, and accompany it with promotion and education and explanations. We could do this fairly easily and inexpensively in just about any US city. The only thing we´d need to do is to have the will and political power to squeeze the... ... cars a bit. We´d like to say, just to put people at ease, that copenhagen didnt do it overnight. It took 40 years to get where they are today. We dont have the luxury of waiting.. 40 years to get to that point in US cities. We have to do it alot more quickly. To me , its fantastic to be in a city where every monring when you wake up, you have ..the feeling that the city is a little bit better than it was yesterday. Its remarkable to have that feeling every morning for 45 years. And that is the case in Copenhagen.

Video Details

Duration: 10 minutes and 45 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: streefilms
Views: 135
Posted by: tarou on Aug 5, 2010

By A stunning piece of work on how cycling has become the choice of alternative transport and has taken over motored-transports.

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