Still ‘no right turns’ at red lights for most of Copenhagen’s cyclists

Allowing cyclists to turn right at the traffic lights ought to be a fairly problem-free way of improving traffic flow

Since 2016 it has been possible for municipalities to seek a dispensation from the police to allow cyclists to run red lights if they are turning right at junctions.

The initiative was put in place in part to speed up traffic and in tacit recognition of the fact that many cyclists do it anyway if they judge that the road is clear.

READ ALSO: Right turns at red lights trial for bicycles a success

Up until now, things don’t look good in Zealand. Only one municipality in north Zealand plus Gladsaxe and Rødovre has done anything about it, reports DR Nyheder.

The two municipalities now have 22 junctions that allow cyclists to legally turn when the lights are red.

Traffic too heavy for safety
Up until now, Copenhagen has three right-turn junctions and Frederiksberg has applied to have 16 set free, but has had its request turned down by the police.

The police have argued that as the traffic in Frederiksberg is so heavy, it would not be safe. However the municipality has not given up.

“We’re pressing ahead and are in dialogue with the police. We’re sending in our application again because it can’t be right that legislation has been made to give us the option whilst the police have just given us the thumbs down,” said Frederiksberg’s chair of the city and environment committee, Jan E Jørgensen.

Right at red should be the default
Klaus Bondam, the head of the cyclists organisation Cyklistforbundet, would also like to see more action in this area.

“Right turns at red lights ensure good and effective cycling traffic,” he said.

“Ideally, we’d like to turn things round completely so that you can always turn right at a red light as a cyclist. At places where special consideration has to be taken, special signs forbidding it could be put up.”