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Copenhagen’s Elevated Bicycle Highway Is Genius

Copenhagen’s Elevated Bicycle Highway Is Genius

Denmark’s capital Copenhagen is a cycling city. In fact, it’s possibly the most bicycle-friendly city in the world. With five bikes to every car, almost as many people commute by bicycle in greater Copenhagen as those who cycle to work in the entire United States. Over 50% of the population get around on bikes, and the infrastructure around the city reflects that with hundreds of kilometres of curb segregated bike lanes which use parked cars as buffers between cyclists and car traffic.

So it makes sense that the Danes would be the innovators of this clever bike freeway linking harbour areas Havneholmen and the Brygge Bridge to Østerbrogade.

Photographer_Ole_Malling
(Photo: Ole Malling/Dissing + Weitling)

The lane is called Cykelslangen, meaning Cycle Snake named for its winding curves, and it employs the simple action of moving cyclists over instead of through a busy harbour-side shopping area. The lane is for exclusive use by cyclists, separating them from the pedestrian foot traffic and ensuring fast, unhindered travel between their two destinations.

Rasmus-Hjortshoj---Cykelslangen-LARGE---13
(Photo: Rasmus Hjortshøj/Dissing + Weitling)

The roadway, designed by Dissing+Weitling coasts you one storey above the ground and is a good four metres across to handle even double-wide cargo bikes.

The idea of a bike highway hasn’t been limited to far-off forward-thinking Scandinavian countries. Similar ideas have been floated in Melbourne CBD and in 2012 there was a proposal to turn the defunct Sydney monorail into an elevated bike path to segregate riders in the busy city centre. Neither of the ideas came to fruition but just imagine pedalling freely with the wind in your hair one storey above the bustling city below – now that could even make commuting fun.

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(Lead image: Rasmus Hjortshøj/Dissing + Weitling)

Next time you cycle, take the Qantas Assure App with you and earn Qantas Points for completing cycling goals.

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