Cycling in Copenhagen

A left turn lane on a Copenhagen bike lane

Push Bikes member, Shaz, has been on a trip through Europe, and writes here for us about his experiences in Copenhagen:

In September 2015 I went on a train trip around Europe. I took the opportunity to try cycling in Amsterdam, Berlin and Copenhagen. In each of the cities cycling was far more pleasant than cycling in the UK, but I’ve decided to write about cycling in Copenhagen as it was the easiest place I found cycling in.

Polishing the Turd

The Birmingham Mail recently reported a collision in which three cars completely destroyed each other on a bike lane, and a woman was left "fighting for her life". The bike lane in question is on the A38 Bristol Road just south of Selly Oak, and it's brand new. In fact it's so new that the signs announcing its creation were flattened in the collision. You can see one of them in the photo, next to all that remains of a tree that was destroyed by the impact.

Protecting cycle lanes with bollards

The entry to the contra flow cycle lane on Hill Street

In September, Grand Central and the new concourse of New Street station were opened, and the new road layout around Hill Street and Station Street finished. The Hill Street contra-flow was re-instated, but there was a immediate problem: motor vehicles, especially buses, turning off Hill Street onto Station Street were sweeping over the cycle lane, putting cycle users at risk. Birmingham City Council reacted quickly to this issue, installing these bollards to protect the cycle lane.

No Ring Road Required

I've heard it said many times that the cycling infrastructure is easier in the Netherlands because all their towns have ring roads. The argument is that a ring road allows one to treat a city as a set of segments connected only via the ring road, with motor traffic prevented from crossing from one segment to the next except via the ring road. With through motor traffic removed, other roads become quiet enough for cycle traffic.

Police enforcement of ASLs

Picture showing correct use of advanced stop lines.

Cars stopping in the Advanced Stop Line (ASL) box is something that many people who cycle complain about. In London, the police use CCTV cameras to enforce ASLs, and drivers can receive a £60 fine and 3 points on their license for abusing ASLs, but in the West Midlands we often feel that police are not interested in enforcing ASLs. And now we might have a reason why.


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