Christiania residents: Proposed bike path is unsafe
The plan to lead 150,000 cyclists from Amager to downtown by establishing a bicycle path going through the historic freetown Christiania has been met with severe opposition from local residents.
After nearly six years of delays, the City Council said this week that the cycling route, dubbed 'Christianshavnsruten', will finally be ready next summer, but residents once again say that the plan is a bad fit for Christiania.
“Now that we are Denmark’s third largest tourist attraction, we don’t find it appropriate or safe to establish a cycling motorway through Christiania,” Hulda Mader, a member of the Christiania Fund,wrote in a press release. “Residents and tourists on Christiania’s narrow and winding paths will have to jump for their lives whenever speeding cyclists sprint through what is supposed to be a recreational oasis.”
Bikes and tourists are a bad combo
Christiania resident Tanja Fox said that she supports the notion of optimising Copenhagen for cyclists, but she is concerned about mixing bikes and tourists in the same area.
"I am not against bicycles," Fox said. "But they wouldn't place a cycling route through Tivoli or the Copenhagen Zoo either. Each year we get two million visitors on foot. A cycling highway would only create chaos among tourists who may already be bewildered by the place."
The city's plan to lead the bike route right next to the children's daycare institution Rosinhuset has also faced criticism from residents who are afraid that kids will risk getting run down by speeding cyclists.
"Right now there are kids, horse riders and loose dogs in that area," Fox said. "I think it works perfectly fine the way it is now when there is room for everybody."
The residents complain that the City Council has not taken their alternative solutions to the project into consideration.
"We haven't yet seen a traffic analysis or distance and time calculations that explain why a cycling route here is necessary,” Mader wrote. “The few calculations that have been made all point towards a northern connection via Margreteholm as the most effective solution."
Fox said that no-one behind the cycling project has listened to their alternative options on how to lead the cycling route around Christiania.
"Another suggestion would be to build a suspension bridge that will separate the cyclists from the rest of the freetown, like they have on Aaboulevard," she said. "We have presented several proposals but no-one is listening to us."