After nearly six years of delays, the City Council says that the bicycle route that the city has planned to connect the downtown area with Amager will finally be ready next summer.
The long wait for the bicycle route, dubbed 'Christianshavnsruten’ (‘The Christianshavn route’), is down to the intense opposition that the proposal has encountered among Christiania’s residents, who don’t want the cycle connection traversing the freetown.
“I can’t imagine any other place where locals would block the construction of a bicycle path for five and a half years,” Jakob Næsager (K), a very frustrated city councillor, told Politiken newspaper.
Næsager argued that the bicycle connection is being established in order to provide the 150,000 residents on Amager a direct connection from the eastern part of the island to downtown Copenhagen.
Christiania's backing important
The City Council’s decision to finish the bicycle path by next summer comes despite opposition from Enhedslisten and Socialistisk Folkeparti, who have teamed up with the local Christiania party, Christianialisten, as part of the local elections later this month.
Despite the vehement opposition to the route by Christiania residents, the City Council hopes that the residents will eventually come to accept the move. The city is concerned that if residents remain resistant to the bike route, the safety of the crews constructing the path will be jeopardised.
“A lack of support from Christiania will complicate the work of the builders considerably because security precautions may need to be taken in order to protect them and others involved in the project,” the city’s development department, Center for Anlæg, wrote in a press release.
Pihl & Søn's bankruptcy didn't help
While the residents of Christiania have heavily campaigned against the establishment of the route, delays have also occurred as a result of the recent bankruptcy of construction giants Pihl & Søn.
One essential link, Inderhavnsbroen – a bicycle/pedestrian that bridge across the inner harbour between Nyhavn and Christianshavn – remains unfinished after Pihl went bust in August and the council continues to search for contractors to take over the projects.
The City Council revealed its plans for the Christiania bicycle route back in 2008.