Headline April 06, 2016/ ''' COPENHAGEN CUSP * CROWNS * '''


COPENHAGEN HAS PERHAPS  -the most advanced.... cycling infrastructure in the world. Surveys show that  45%  of the population-

[Including  63%  of  Denmark's parliamentarians]  commutes by bike daily; a task made easier by more than 200 miles of bike lanes.

Copenhagen's newest bike lane will hang between two-skyscrapers.......but will locals ever get to ride it?

*IT WILL BE THE most spectacular bicycle bridge ever built*.

When completed, it will stretch between two skyscrapers on the Copenhagen waterfront at the height of  213 feet. That's high enough for a cruise ship to pass underneath.

But when the Danish capital announced in early, last January that after eight years of discussion, construction on the bridge would finally begin this year, it raised concerns among urban planners and ordinary citizens.

They worried about who exactly it was for. 
By choosing looks over access, was a city renowned for its dedication to smart urban function for flash?  Or was it, once again, proving it deserves its reputation as the most bike- friendly in the world?

Traffic laws and even signals facilitate biking : Cyclists are allowed to go in the opposite direction on most one-way streets, and many  stoplights are timed to turn green for bikes a few seconds earlier than they do for cars.

Lights are coordinated so that cyclists who keep to a steady  12mph don't have to stop on their way into and through the city. More recently, the city began experimenting with embedded  LED  displays and signal to cyclists when a bus is about to stop near the hike lane so that passengers can disembark.

As that collision avoidance measure suggests  -cycling in Copenhagen isn't only easy   -it's also so damn safe.   In the U.S., 44 cyclists are killed per billion  kilometers traveled by bike nationwide.

In Denmark, however, there are only  14.6 deaths per billion kilometers traveled   -and this is a country that does not require helmets  [only 27 percent of riders wear them] Much of that improved safety has to do with better infrastructure   -bike lanes are raised and separated from automobile traffic, for example. 

But education also plays a role. *Children learn to ride in school   -biking has been a part of the curriculum since 1947.....and many get certified as good cyclists by passing a school test that  includes an obstacle course.

And as the  Organisation for   Economic Cooperation and Development reports, an increase in the number of cyclists reduces the risk of accidents, partly because drivers are more aware of them.

In Copenhagen,  most drivers also own bikes, which makes them more sensitive, the thinking goes, to safety on the roads. 

Private enterprise contributes to the local cycling culture.

There are hundreds of bike shops, many of which rent bikes to tourists. All taxis come equipped with bike racks, for those who decide that a sudden turn in weather or a few too many cocktails  might make riding home ill-advised.

The cargo,  or  ''Christiania''   tricycle, was invented here.

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Good Night and God Bless

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