Copenhagen bids to beat bike traffic jams

Cycle highways to help city handle huge volume of cyclists

by Mark Appleton   November 28, 2010  

Copenhagen (picture credit Ludovic Péron_Wikimedia Commons).

The Danish and Dutch cities, Copenhagen and Amsterdam have long been considered leaders in the development of bike-centric transport infrastructures.

But as Copenhagen’s network of cycle-paths starts to become a victim of its own success with bikes creating their own congestion, moves are afoot to expand them into proper bike highways, able to cope with a greater volume of cyclists.

Currently the city experiences cycling traffic jams, notably on the Noerrebrogade route which is used by over 35,000 riders daily.

One cyclist, 22-year-old university student Lea Bresell, told Agence-France Presse  things can sometimes get physical: "You have to elbow your way in to go forward and some cyclists aren't always thoughtful."

Danish Cyclist Federation spokesman Frits Bredal told AFP that the creation of higher volume cycle highways is now a necessity to deal with the huge volume of two-wheeled traffic. "Copenhagen's roads are overloaded with people who want to ride their bicycles in all kinds of weather," he said. "It's a mode of transportation used by all social classes, even politicians ride bikes,"

The existing Noerrebrogade cycle lane will be widened by around 4m in a move that will turn it into a bike friendly boulevard which will be "Europe's great cycling street" according to Andreas Roehl, Copenhagen’s bicycle programme manager.

Roehl hope that in addition to the extensive use of bikes by Copenhagen’s inner-city residents, the improved cycling infrastructure will tempt more of the city’s suburb dwellers to dispense with their cars and commute by bike.

Copenhagen currently has around 240 miles of cycle paths and between 2006 and 2010, the city spent 33.6 million euros on its cycling infrastructure.

The first two bicycle highways linking downtown Copenhagen with its suburbs up to 15km away are due to open at the end of 2011. A third highway, extending 20 kilometres from the centre of the capital will be completed in 2012.

7 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

mmm wouldn't it be easier, cheaper and greener to convert a nearby road route to cycle-only?

posted by a.jumper [833 posts]
28th November 2010 - 12:32

1 Like

I agree.

But to be fair, the other thing they are doing with Norrebrogade is just that: eliminating car traffic. The remaining carriageway is given over to bus traffic as this is a key bus corridor.

Many Copenhagen cycle tracks are very narrow, and the pavements are tiny

posted by pickles [28 posts]
28th November 2010 - 22:14


Interesting - wonder if a high number of cycle accidents are caused by stoned hippies in and around Kristiana in Copenhagen?

Amsterdam isn't the capital of Holland. It's the commercial capital. Den Haag is the country's capital, or so I learned from O Grade Geography.


posted by OldRidgeback [2580 posts]
29th November 2010 - 10:39

1 Like

Want to seriously encourage cycling? Try spending 8.4 million Euros every year on it in one city. That's with an urban population of around one million.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1448 posts]
29th November 2010 - 12:59

1 Like

Old Ridgeback I think you are half-remembering the fact, equally drummed into me at school, that Holland is unusual in having its parliament located in a city, the Hague, which is not its official capital.

But perhaps our Dutch readers - assuming we have some - would care to settle this one.

posted by Mark Appleton [554 posts]
29th November 2010 - 14:52

1 Like

Jeff - you outsmartarsed me!


From Wikipedia:
Today, the former County of Holland consists of the two Dutch provinces of North Holland and South Holland, which together include the Netherlands' three largest cities: country capital Amsterdam; seat of government, The Hague; and Rotterdam, home of Europe's largest port.


posted by OldRidgeback [2580 posts]
29th November 2010 - 15:14

1 Like

Would never do that OR, top posters like you deserve more respect!

posted by Mark Appleton [554 posts]
29th November 2010 - 16:51

1 Like