In news from one of the world’s most cycling-friendly cities, the number of bikes entering the Copenhagen city centre has eclipsed the number of cars for the first time on record.
For the first time since the city starting counting traffic entering the city centre, there are more bikes than cars. Indeed, since last year, 35,080 more bikes were counted, bringing the total up to 265,700.
It is a clear indication that continuous municipal policy and investment in best practice infrastructure pays off. The city has gone above and beyond over the past ten years. Investing €134 million extra in infrastructure, facilities and, not least, bicycle bridges to prioritise cycling as transport.
Interestingly though, cycling for transport is actually down in Denmark as a whole.
Widespread prosperity (the financial crisis didn’t really register here) and the fact that buying a car is cheaper now than during the oil crises in the 1970s means that people are buying them, despite the (rather irrelevant) 180% tax on cars. They are, however, buying then outside the larger cities and often buying a second car for the family.
Car ownership in Copenhagen is still low at 25%. Even though a resident’s parking permit can be bought for a ridiculous €100 a year, it is clear that Copenhageners prefer bikes and public transport. It is also very relevant to mention that the city is still rather difficult to drive around, what with the construction of 17 new metro stations.