7 facts about cycling in Copenhagen

We took a closer look at the very special and promising approach of Copenhagen regarding a shift in mobility.

We were at the ITS World Congress in Copenhagen this week and discussed the future of mobility. We also took a closer look at the very special and promising approach of Copenhagen itsself regarding a shift in mobility. 

The shift in mobility can have so many faces, be it people sharing a journey or an exemplary public transport system. Copenhagen shows us a particularly sporty and environmentally friendly face of the shift in mobility in the form of an excellent infrastructure for cyclists. While in many places in Germany people still curse the bad cycle paths or dead ends for cyclists, the Danish capital literally offers highways for bikers.

And the good conditions that are created for bicycle traffic pay off. These seven astonishing facts show that Copenhagen is truly a world leader as a bicycle city.


1. Almost 50 % of all Copenhageners ride their bicycles to work or to school

In words: Half of all working people in Copenhagen cycle to work! In Germany, the national average is just nine percent. Whilst 30 percent of Copenhageners use public transport to get to work and only 24 percent travel to work by car.

For comparison: In Hamburg, that would be around 500,000 cycling people every morning and evening. Even if Hamburg's infrastructure for bicycles is not at all bad in comparison with other German cities, this mass of cycling would presumably overburden the cycle paths at present.


2. 35 % of all those who work in Copenhagen but live in suburbs or neighboring towns commute to work by bike

The most common excuse for single drivers commuting to work by car is that they come from the suburbs and have a too long journey to work. Perhaps a Copenhagen citizen would not even understand this excuse. More than half of the daily cyclists in Copenhagen are commuters from the suburbs.


3. 25 % of all families with two children own a bicycle with which they can take their children to kindergarten, go shopping, etc.

Anyone who has ever been to Copenhagen knows that freight bikes characterize the cityscape of the Danish metropolis. But these transport bikes are rarely to be seen here in Germany. As soon as they go shopping or the children have to be brought to school or kindergarten, Germans prefer to take the car. Having children is in fact one big reason in Germany to buy a car in the first place.


4. All in all, the people of Copenhagen ride 1.4 million kilometers by bicycle every day.

Traveling on two wheels feels natural in Copenhagen, that's no coincidence. The infrastructure for bicycle traffic is exemplary. There are almost 400 kilometers of cycle paths, most of them are separated from the road and sidewalk by curbs. Half of the cyclists in Copenhagen pedal because they are convinced they can get from A to B fastest by bicycle.


5. In central Copenhagen there are more bicycles than inhabitants.

That doesn't sound advantageous at first. After all, the purpose of the mobility shift is to return the city to the people and not to the vehicles. But compared to Germany, this value is almost null and void. As far as wasting space by means of transport is concerned, we struggle with completely different dimensions: in Germany there are about 3435 car seats per 1,000 inhabitants!


6. The most frequented cycle path in the world is in the Danish capital

The Nørrebrogade cycle path is used by up to 40,000 cyclists every day - a world record! The city knows all about records. As early as 2007, Copenhagen was the first metropolis to be awarded the UCI Bike City Label by the head organization of national cycling associations. The Danes are thus well on their way to achieving yet another goal they have set themselves: By the year 2025, Copenhagen wants to be the world's first carbon-neutral capital city.


7. Bicycle Superhighways and bicycle bridges for more comfort and safety

The infrastructure in Copenhagen is designed to meet the needs of cyclists. Many cycle paths are continuously being extended to three lanes so that several cyclists can ride side by side or overtake each other. The city is also planning to increase the number of Green Waves in line with cyclists' speeds in order to increase them for commuters. At main traffic points, the bicycle lanes are even marked in bright blue. Dangerous intersections are equipped with flashing LED lights that light up as soon as a cyclist approaches.