On Memorial Day, May 27, New York City introduced the city’s first grand-scale public transportation program in more than 75 years: NYC Bike Share - putting 6,000 bikes in the streets of Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn with the goal to expand to 10,000 bikes. Bike Share features hundreds of bike stations around New York with station locations based on population and transit needs.Inspiration from CopenhagenHeavy and congested traffic is a problem in many major cities today and in highly populated cities the fastest way of getting around is very likely on a bicycle. The Bike Share program is a big part of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s extensive work to improve New York for cycling and other alternative forms of transportation under the administration of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. NYC’s Department Of Transportation found great inspiration in Copenhagen on how to make New York City more bicycle-friendly. The world's most comprehensive list of bicycle friendly cities is even named after the Danish capital – “The Copenhagenize Index”.
“It’s changing the city. Taxis are too expensive. And I don’t take the bus.”Anna Diaz, 36, the Financial District, in New York Times In 2007 Danish urban design consultant Jan Gehl was hired by the The Department of Transportation to re-imagine New York City’s streets by introducing designs to improve the conditions for cyclists. This involved Jan Gehl taking planning chief Amanda Burden and transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan on a bike trip around Copenhagen to show what could be done the bicycle culture of New York.
New York has added more than 350 miles of new bike lanes since 2007.How Denmark Became a Cycling NationDanish cities became cities of bicycles during the first half of the 1900s where people from all social classes cycled on a large scale and several professions also adopted the bicycle. Today, cycling postmen and home helpers are still a permanent part of street life. Bicycles were widely used in Denmark until around 1960, when the increasing standard of living began to make car ownership possible for more and more families. In the 1960s, cars were almost about to displace bicycles in main Danish cities. The oil crisis and environmental movement reversed that development. But this is just one of the many reasons behind the Danes’ love for bicycles.Read more about how Denmark became a cycling nationDenmark has a tradition for people from all parts of society to cycle and most Danes associate the bicycle with values such as freedom and health. The bicycle stands as an ultramodern symbol aided by e.g. successful political initiatives and conscious marketing. The three largest Danish cities, Copenhagen, Aarhus and Odense have all carried out campaigns that put cyclists in a positive light on advertising billboards and by actively including cyclists in new projects.Bicycling to workCopenhagen’s City Bike – the world’s first free bicycle scheme - was launched in 1995. Copenhagen is world famous for its biking culture and is officially proclaimed as the first Bike City in the World. Danes are well known for their love of cycling and cities all around the world are looking at to Denmark when it comes to improving the conditions for cycling.The bicycle is many Danes’ favored mode of transportation and 50% of all Copenhageners commute to work or school by bike. New York’s bike share initiative has also been launched as a way for New Yorkers to get to and from work and it is possible to get annual subscriprions to the program. The city is not only considering bicycling as a leisure activity, but as an effective and easy alternative form of rush hour transportation. to heavy morning traffic.“This is really more designed for getting from Place A to Place B in 30 minutes,” Bloomberg said.
Bike facts from Denmark:
In Copenhagen’s new bicycle strategy you can read about the new initiatives and plans which lay down guidelines for the long term and overriding priorities within the bicycle area.
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