'Superhighway' to offer short and straight road for bikes
The first leg of greater Copenhagen's suburb-to-city cycle express lane is set to open to traffic on April 14. Officially known as the C99 Albertslundruten, the 17.5km route will offer cyclists a straight shot from Albertslund through Glostrup, Rødovre and Frederiksberg before ending in Copenhagen.
Dubbed 'cycle superhighways', the routes are designed to be as direct as possible and have fewer stops and obstructions than traditional bike routes. Planners hope that by giving cyclists smooth sailing over long distances, they can increase the number of people in greater Copenhagen cycling to work from the current 37 percent of commuters to 50 percent by 2015.
A main target group for the cycle superhighways is commuters cycling long distances to work, according to Maria Streuli, the manager of the Cykel Superstier project.
"Most bicycle commuters currently only cycle up to five kilometres,” she said. “We are reaching out to those who have further to go.”
Planners also hope new routes into Copenhagen will reduce two-wheeled traffic jams on busy streets like Nørrebrogade, which is travelled by as many as 40,000 bikes a day.
In all, more than 300 kilometres of new bike lanes are planned as part of the Cykel Superstier project. Existing bike lanes and routes will be connected to the new paths, and they will incorporate improvements such as wider paths, regulation of traffic signals, better signage and permanent bike pumps. The local governments involved also promise that the new bike routes will be a priority to be cleared in case of snow.
Cykel Superstier started in 2010 as a collaborative effort between 19 local authorities in the greater Copenhagen area. In addition to funding from local and regional governments, the project has received a grant from Cykelpuljen, a national fund to support cycling in Denmark.
A recent report from the Copenhagen City Council found that the cycling industry was worth 1.3 billion kroner to the city and accounted for more than 650 full time jobs.
More sections of the cycle superhighway are scheduled to open soon. A route from Farum to Copenhagen and the Vestvoldruten, which includes Brøndby, Hvidovre and Rødovre will open later this year. While a fourth route from Ballerup into Copenhagen is scheduled to open in 2013.