denmark superhighways
Bike superhighways – everybody wins in Denmark

The Copenhagen Region is continuing to roll out its cycling superhighway infrastructure to encourage people to take longer commutes.

And according to the latest report from Denmark, it is working.

Europeans typically took short bike commutes, but Denmark was worried about how many people were switching to cars for longer trips.

It decided to reconfigure bike infrastructure in the region around the capital so that people were lured onto bikes instead.

Melbourne is one Australian City that has a plan for long distance routes, but the Danes have more than a plan, they have a real, shovels in the ground, program.

Car traffic is increasing in Denmark. In the Capital Region alone there is a productivity waste of what corresponds to 22,000 full-time positions every year waiting in car traffic, the report says.

CO2-emissions have increased by 12% since 2012, and a quarter of the region’s population fails to live up to the WHO’s minimum recommendation for physical activity.

Twenty-three municipalities and the Capital Region therefore joined forces to create interconnected cycle superhighways across the region.

Copenhagen Region cycling superhighway plan

The collaboration is coordinated by the Office for Cycle Superhighways, which facilitates the collaboration between the municipalities and the region. Each municipality is responsible for the planning, building and financing of the routes.

The routes are, however, often co-financed by the state.

To ensure a common plan on where and how to build the cycle superhighways, the municipalities have agreed on a conceptual strategy defining the quality and criteria for a cycle superhighway and a vision plan for a fully built network by 2045.

"The ambition for the cycle superhighways is to offer a mode of transport equal to public transportation and the car.

With a common concept as recognizable as motorways, S-trains and metros, the aim is to give bike commuters a good and cohesive experience across routes and municipality borders.

To make more commuters perceive the cycle superhighways as a mode of transportation equal to taking the car, bus or train, it is essential to have a brand and a concept which inhabitants of the region are familiar with and which secures cohesion in both the design and quality of the routes

Clear signage and information along the routes make wayfinding easier for commuters – they simply follow the orange C. The aim is for the C-logo to become a symbol equal to the Metro’s “M” and the “S” in S-train.

Eight cycle superhighways have been built, seven more are on the way and the vision for the cycle superhighways in the Capital Region of Denmark is a total of 45 routes.

There is more in the short and very readable report.