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Posts tagged "Copenhagen Cycling"

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48 Hours in Copenhagen Yields Four Streetfilms!

Although the main goal of this latest overseas trip was to visit Oslo, Norway to interview leaders about the city's plans to go car-free in the city center by 2019, I knew I'd have the opportunity to visit somewhere else (very quickly) to shoot a few Streetfilms. Nearby Denmark was the obvious choice where I only spent a little over two days and it yielded a crop of Streetfilms substance (along with a short side trip to Malmo to also see the bike world there.)

Two of the films are already published on the blog, but two others new to you aren't.  The first was a short bit (above) where I got to talk to James Thoem, a Project Manager with Copenhagenize Design Company, about the key safety measures installed at what some claim to be the world busiest cycle intersection with over 42,000 users per day. The things he talks about would certainly nearly illuminate "right hook" crashes in the United States, but of course something tells me the incredible volume of cyclists also is a factor in driver's ability to sit patiently. I did a popular montage on that on my last trip here.

The fun montage above is just something I crammed together on my journey between Copenhagen to Oslo. I realized as I was out shooting footage that I was collecting an insane amount of children and dogs riding along in cargo bikes and such. It could be because I was missing my little boy (who recently took his first bike ride ever) and envied all the families. I surveyed fans on Twitter and asked if they would like to see such a montage. They enthusiastically said yes, so I obliged.

Here's just something I saw while out with James. A construction crew digging and transporting dirt.  Everything proceeding with very little fanfare. It looked all very professional and yet kinda scary. I took one ride underneath, which although the crew used due care, also seemed very borderline dangerous. Yet, nice to see life and work proceed without alarm. What do you think?

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There's me above checking out the newly opened "Kissing Bridge", which was delayed for many years. I'm not gonna say too much here about the final video since it has its own blog entry, but Marie Kastrup from the City of Copenhagen, showed me some wonderful hospitality gave me a whirlwind tour of the newest car-free bridges in Copenhagen. This is the result.

But the video itself should prove very valuable to cities across the globe as conversation starter. Here in NYC while we are debating whether or not we could possibly widen the Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian and bike path say 3 to 5 years down the road (if at all), We need to look at what bridges could we build in NYC that would greatly enhance transportation for cyclists. The Move NY/Gridlock Sam plan does float the possibilities of some car-free crossings, but one has to wonder if it would be seriously ever studied. If we were in Copenhagen, there would likely already be plans for multiple bridges going in.

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Touring Copenhagen’s Car-Free Bridges

Copenhagen is great. One of the things that makes it so is that the city is continually trying to find ways to make biking and walking better for its citizens. And one way they are doing that now is by erecting many bridges (especially over their harbor) that are car-free, which helps take the stress off of current routes that have become congested with bicycling.
Marie Kastrup, the Bicycle Program Manager for the City of Copenhagen, was very kind to take me on a tour of just some of the bike & ped bridges Copenhagen has constructed in the past ten years. And the amazing thing is: there are even more on the way, four in the next few years are planned!

Every major city should be looking at their waterfronts and making it easier to cross bodies of water. While we debate, possibly widening the Brooklyn bike/ped path sometime years into the future, I would love to see some new car-free crossings over the East River in NYC being seriously discussed. If you are a cyclist and want to go between boroughs, sometimes it is very, very tough since there are not many places to cross.

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Cycling Copenhagen with Children, Canines & Couples as Cargo

I was stuck in my hotel room after two days of shooting a few videos in Copenhagen and realized I had unconsciously become more fixated on capturing people riding with their children (and pets!) than in previous trips. It could have something to do with the fact that I have a young son now.
Almost a joke, I tweeted to Streetfilms fans asking if I put together a montage of kids & dogs being ferried about in Copenhagen would they watch it? I got over two dozen likes and copious replies in a very short time. So while at the airport waiting for my flight to Oslo and also using the flight time and bus ride to hotel, I put stitched this lovely bike poem together.
I hope you like it. Especially because I almost never use slow-mo. Why? I see people that lean on it all the time as a style. For me, I think it's best to use it sparingly. I've used slow-motion maybe twice in 700 Streetfilms. But this time it felt so right and matched the dreamy soundtrack. Enjoy.

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Watch as Copenhagen Drivers Turning Right Exhibit Incredible Patience for Cyclists (as they should)

Amazingly, I put up this montage of nearly raw footage I shot in Copenhagen to exhibit the patience of drivers as they prepare to make right turns as passing cyclists cruise by with little fear of every being "right hooked". I didn't think it would get more than a few hundred views so I didn't put it on Streetfilms proper. Now after over 6000 plays (almost all thru social networking shares) I changed my mind and put it up.

What's most amazing is that in two or three instances of each shot there's a point where American drivers in most of our cities would have gunned it to make the turn. Or just invaded the cyclist's space.

Of course the reason so many Copenhagen drivers exhibit so much patience is with a 42% bike mode share, they are cyclists themselves. And also all Copenhagen school kids receive lots of road education while in school.

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Journey Around Copenhagen’s Latest Bicycle Innovations!

Copenhagen just keeps finding new ways to make it easier and more convenient to bike. Recently I had the chance to take a tour with Mikael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagenize and see some of the innovations that have changed the city's streets since I was there four years ago.

First off, if you've seen my 2010 Streetfilm about Copenhagen's bike infrastructure and culture, the busiest bicycle street in the world has changed: The Knippelsbro Bridge now boasts 40,700 riders per day! And speaking of bridges, Copenhagen is building six new crossings exclusively for biking and walking to help its citizens get around.

Last month another cool bridge debuted -- the Cykelslangen ("Bicycle Snake"). You'll see loads of footage as we traveled back and forth. It is truly a handsome piece of infrastructure. Even going uphill seems pretty easy!

You'll see lots of other things that will make you happy (or angry your city isn't doing more!), including waste baskets angled for cyclists, LED lights that indicate whether riders have to speed up to catch the green wave, and a cool treatment for cobblestone streets that helps make biking easier.

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Copenhagen Cargo Bikes

When you first visit Copenhagen, the first thing you'll notice after being mesmerized by the sheer number of cyclists on the roads is the eclectic kinds of bikes, especially ones that carry groceries, baggage, furniture or other people & children.  As Copenhagenize's Mikael Colville-Andersen happily points out: for many in his city, the cargo bike is equivalent to the SUV.

Thus, for this final chapter in Streetfilms' 2010 Copenhagen Triology (check here: for previous vids on bicycling & pedestrian space) we present this quirky look at some of the types of wonderful bikes that are used by the public.  We randomly spoke to folks gallavanting about town on their vehicles, attended the 2010 Danish Cargo Bike Championships, and got to speak with Hans Fogh, owner of Larry vs.Harry, a cargo bike-making specialty shop.  The result here is really just a melody of vignettes, which only ever so slightly touches on the vast cargo bike phenomenon.

But most impressive comes just over one minute in, where you will witness one of the more amazing bike feats we've ever seen on film: a father transporting four children, a bike, a half dozen bags, on what can only be described as a cargo bike plus.  It still makes us tired just watching it.

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Copenhagen’s Car-Free Streets & Slow-Speed Zones

In Copenhagen, you never have to travel very far to see a beautiful public space or car-free street packed with people soaking up the day.  In fact, since the early 1960s, 18 parking lots in the downtown area have been converted into public spaces for playing, meeting, and generally just doing things that human beings enjoy doing. If you're hungry, there are over 7,500 cafe seats in the city.

But as you walk and bike the city, you also quickly become aware of something else: Most Copenhagen's city streets have a speed limit of 30 to 40 km/h (19 to 25 mph).  Even more impressive, there are blocks in some neighborhoods with limits as low as 15 km/h (9 mph) where cars must yield to residents.  Still other areas are "shared spaces" where cars, bikes and pedestrians mix freely with no stress, usually thanks to traffic calming measures (speed bumps are popular), textured road surfaces and common sense.

We charmed you last month with our look at bicycling in Copenhagen, now sit back and watch livable streets experts Jan Gehl and Gil Penalosa share their observations about pedestrian life. You'll also hear Ida Auken, a member of Denmark's Parliament, and Niels Tørsløv, traffic director for the City of Copenhagen, talk about their enthusiasm for street reclamation and its effect on their city.

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Cycling Copenhagen, Through North American Eyes

While Streetfilms was in Copenhagen for the Velo-City 2010 conference, of course we wanted to showcase its biking greatness.  But we were also looking to take a different perspective then all the myriad other videos out there.  Since there were an abundance of advocates, planners, and city transportation officials attending from the U.S. and Canada, we thought it'd be awesome to get their reactions to the city's built environment and compare to bicycling conditions in their own cities.

If you've never seen footage of the Copenhagen people riding bikes during rush hour - get ready - it's quite a site, as nearly 38% of all transportation trips in Copenhagen are done by bike.  With plenty of safe, bicycle infrastructure (including hundreds of miles of physically separated cycletracks) its no wonder that you see all kinds of people on bikes everywhere.  55% of all riders are female, and you see kids as young as 3 or 4 riding with packs of adults.

Much thanks to the nearly two dozen folks who talked to us for this piece.  You'll hear astute reflections from folks like Jeff Mapes (author of "Pedaling Revolution"), Martha Roskowski (Program Manager, GO Boulder), Andy Clarke (President, League of American Bicyclists), Andy Thornley (Program Director, San Francisco Bike Coalition) and Tim Blumenthal (President, Bikes Belong) and Yvonne Bambrick (Executive Director, Toronto's Cyclists Union) just to name drop a few of the megastars.

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Velo-City 2010: Copenhagen Bike Parade

Last week, Copenhagen was the host for the Velo-City Global 2010 conference featuring over 1,000 attendees, advocates, and bike enthusiasts from all over the world.  It was awesome and awe-inspiring. The city that loves biking welcomed us with open arms.

On the third night of the conference, Copenhagen did something it doesn't do often: holding a spectacular bike parade!  This critical mass-style celebration featured the young and old on all sorts of bikes and filled the streets with laughter and music. In fact, some participants told us they thought it was the first of its kind in 24 years.  I guess when every day is a massive critical mass of cyclists (38% of all trips are bike) then what is the need for ever needing to declare your right to the road?

The optimistic mood of the conference and the gaining momentum for bicycling facilities worldwide was as inspiring as the people of this great, livable city.  Don't miss the next one in March 2011 in  Sevilla, Spain which we were told is seeing skyrocketing numbers of those taking to the velocipede!

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Cycle Chic in Copenhagen and Beyond

 

You can trace the term "cycle chic" back to 2006, when Mikael Colville-Andersen launched his Copenhagen Cycle Chic blog. It means different things to different people, but basically, "cycle chic" is about riding in everyday clothes instead of specialized gear like spandex or cycling shoes.
]When I was in Copenhagen last December I had the chance to meet up with Colville-Andersen. After touring the city's first-rate bike infrastructure, I asked him about cycle chic. He said the number of collaborators and followers around the world is constantly growing, making cycle chic a movement-within-a-movement. So for this video, I crowdsourced video from a few other cycle chic bloggers to see what's so hot about using fashion and style to promote bicycling. Enjoy!
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Copenhagen’s Climate-Friendly, Bike-Friendly Streets

Tens of thousands of people from nearly every nation on earth have descended on Copenhagen this month for the UN climate summit. As the delegates try to piece together a framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, they're also absorbing lessons from one of the world's leading cities in sustainable transportation. In Copenhagen, fully 37 percent of commute trips are made by bike, and mode share among city residents alone is even higher.

Come see "the busiest bicycling street in the Western world", and lots of other you-gotta-see-them-to-believe-them features including bike counters (featuring digital readouts), LEDS, double bike lanes (for passing) and giant hot pink cars.

Copenhagen wasn't always such a bicycling haven. It took many years of investment in bike infrastructure to reclaim streets from more polluting, less sustainable modes. Last week, I was able to squeeze in a whirl-wind tour with Mikael Colville-Andersen, the bike culture evangelist behind Copenhagenize and Copenhagen Cycle Chic, to get a taste of the city's impressive bike network and cycling amenities. Watch this video and see how Copenhageners flock to the streets by bike even in December, when average temperatures hover just above freezing.