Exploring the world's built environments and seeking sustainable solutions.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Streets of Copenhagen!

These streets - based on the mideval layouts yet so effective, so efficient. A radial system, not a grid system, is surprizingly easy to navigate. All this talk about being such a green city, but still, it's a city thus lots of cars. They flood the street, less so than New York City. This flood is rushing because everything about the streets are efficient. The stops, the starts, everything is fast paced. Pedestrians have their own lane. Bikers have their own lane. Sometimes buses have their own lane (sometimes taxies are able to join this bus fast lane). There are lights for cars, lights for pedestrians, and lights for bikers. Fast, fast, fast. Everyone is on the move. Biking is one third of the transportation in Copenhagen, so improvements on efficiency are constantly being implemented. On busy roads, blue painted strips indicated that cars yeild to bikers and to be aware of high bike traffic. When the light is green, lights flash on the ground on the way to the intersection as to prevent bikes from stopping when there is no need to. One thing I learned but have not seen is red crosses where people have died biking so that cars and bikes alike know to be extremely careful. As an experienced biker of Copenhagen, I can say that it is the perfect big city to ride your bike in. You can't ask for much more, but there is still more that is going to be added such as expanded bike lanes for a fast and a slow lane. One problem I did run into was bike parking. There is a lack of bike parking in the city which makes it difficult to increase the bike usage even further. I ended up just locking my bike in front of buildings or whereever there was space that was out of the way. That of course can imped on the sidewalks. Speaking of sidewalks, walking around Copenhagen is amazing. Though it seems like a big city, it's extremely small and compact. You can walk anywhere at anytime and get there quick, safely, and able to enjoy green spaces, plazas, water fronts, and amazing architecture and old buildings. I can not say anything about the buses or taxies as I did not ride either, there was no need to. Similar to that, cars. One reason people have cars is because they live in rural areas around the city because the city rent is expensive (well, the whole city from eatting to clothes is SOOOOOO EXPENSIVE!). To stop the small travels in cars with a campaign called the Ridiculous Driver. If someone drives less than 2 or 3 miles, you can call them a ridiculous driver. I can recommend this for the United States! DON'T BE A RIDICULOUS DRIVER!

Endnote: rolemodel for roads around the world.

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