On most of the main bridges in Copenhagen they have counters tracking the number of cyclists who have passed by on that day and since the beginning of the year. Apparently the record–36,000 bikers in one day–was set on a sunny weekday.
Here are a few other interesting numbers related to cycling in Copenhagen:
- 90% of Copenhageners own a bicycle.
- In Denmark, the average household owns 0.7 cars and 2 bicycles.
- 58% of Copenhageners use a bicycle on a daily basis.
- 36% of Copenhageners bike to work (5% walk, 33% take public transit, and 27% drive).
- 1/3 of the road budget in Copenhagen goes towards bicycle planning and infrastructure.
Bikers also get a 6 second head start over cars here.
Aside from just having traffic signals specifically for bikes, another interesting difference is that the traffic lights for cyclists turn yellow before they turn green as well as turning yellow before a red. The yellow before green is actually really helpful because, unlike a car, it takes a few seconds to get going again on your bike. These few seconds allow you to get that initial push-off you need so you are moving by the time the light turns green. This head start also makes bikers more visible to cars since it allows the cyclists to get a few feet in front of the cars before the cars enter the intersection. Last week, while biking with John Mauro, the Policy Director from Cascade Bicycle Club, we also decided that perhaps the yellow before green serves the purpose of “psyching people up.”