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Copenhagen – Too Many Cyclists?

By Grail - 14 September 2011 19

An amusing* story linked in the Pedal Power newsletter this week: Copenhagen’s novel problem: too many cyclists. Even the cyclists are complaining about cyclists!

I’m posting this to RiotACT because I’m sure we all enjoy the schadenfreude, love complaining about cyclists, and I expect Copenhagen’s experience can serve as guidance for the future of cycling in Canberra (I can dream, can’t I?)

How many of you work in positions where adjusting work hours would actually be feasible (if it weren’t for “9 to 5” being written in your contract) as a means to ameliorate peak traffic flow?

*amusing, if one considers schadenfreude to be amusement πŸ™‚

What’s Your opinion?


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19 Responses to
Copenhagen – Too Many Cyclists?
carnardly 5:09 pm 14 Sep 11

Some drivers can’t seem to see an adult on a bike on the road directly in front of them in broad daylight. Cyclists shouldn’t HAVE to use lights in daylight – and forcing them to takes away the responsibility for drivers to stay awake.

poetix 4:45 pm 14 Sep 11

Grail said :

00davist said :

You’re one of those nuts who drives a dark or silver car in bad weather and dusk, with no lights, and only ever turns them on when they need them to see, right???

No, I’m one of those folks who rides a pushbike and wonders what difference it will make to ride with my lights on during the day. This is not dark cars in the evening, or motorbikes being run over by 4x4s we’re talking about. This is bicycles (relatively low speed traffic) on bike lanes or bike paths.

I already have a bell, and use it to warn pedestrians that I’m approaching. What benefit is having lights on going to provide?

Motorcycles used to be required to have lights on all the time, but this was changed. I think because it was seen as ineffective in reducing accidents.

Grail 4:32 pm 14 Sep 11

00davist said :

You’re one of those nuts who drives a dark or silver car in bad weather and dusk, with no lights, and only ever turns them on when they need them to see, right???

No, I’m one of those folks who rides a pushbike and wonders what difference it will make to ride with my lights on during the day. This is not dark cars in the evening, or motorbikes being run over by 4x4s we’re talking about. This is bicycles (relatively low speed traffic) on bike lanes or bike paths.

I already have a bell, and use it to warn pedestrians that I’m approaching. What benefit is having lights on going to provide?

OpenYourMind 4:24 pm 14 Sep 11

Copenhagen is nirvana for cyclists. I remember riding around and being amazed at the sheer number of bicycles in that wonderful city. I went to a concert and there was a bicycle parking lot the size of a carpark filled. The city does have hills, some urban spread and chilly weather just like Canberra. The bikes really take a priority over cars in urban planning and the city is so much the better for it.

It’s much easier to keep building cycling facilities in Canberra now rather than wait until we get a lot bigger. Big cities that have outgrown the car such as London face a challenge adding cycling facilities.

Another factor, going into the future, will be the profusion of electric bikes. As much as they annoy us cycling purists, the reailty is that electric bikes are growing in popularity and need to be considered in planning.

00davist 2:47 pm 14 Sep 11

Grail said :

darkmilk said :

Mirrors and lights (daytime) should be mandatory on bikes to use these lanes too.

What benefit do you expect to gain from bicycles having lights on during the day?

WOW, that question still needs to be asked?

You’re one of those nuts who drives a dark or silver car in bad weather and dusk, with no lights, and only ever turns them on when they need them to see, right???

trevar 2:40 pm 14 Sep 11

I find the difference between the peak hour and non-peak hour trip between Deakin and Wanni is negligible, so I stick with the status quo despite there being a very high likelihood that my office would be perfectly happy for me to adjust my hours.

darkmilk 2:00 pm 14 Sep 11

Grail said :

What benefit do you expect to gain from bicycles having lights on during the day?

It’s not expected, it’s a real benefit confirmed by experience.

Having decent daylight running lights on a bike makes you so much more visible, more even than a flouro vest. The effect on surrounding traffic is noticeable, vehicles actually give reasonable room and give way closer to 95% of the time, whereas without it’s about 40% on a good day. I think it’s because lights are noticeable and can pull in a poor/stupid or distracted driver’s attention, whereas in flouro you register on people’s retinas but their brains just filter it out as part of the scenery.

With modern LEDs and batteries the cost of decent lights is low enough that they should be mandatory. (and if they were mandatory mass production would make them cheaper again)

The flip side is that they are now so bright there should also be rules about low beam use at night and a cutoff brightness limit (like in Europe), not just a minimum as per the current road rules.

Grail 1:43 pm 14 Sep 11

darkmilk said :

Mirrors and lights (daytime) should be mandatory on bikes to use these lanes too.

What benefit do you expect to gain from bicycles having lights on during the day?

Grail 1:40 pm 14 Sep 11

Would flexible working hours help anyone? How many of you, given the option, would choose to work e.g.: 8-4 instead of 9-5? You’d get home with more daylight hours to spend in the garden, working on the house, or (Heaven forbid) play with the kids!

And for another view on cycle lanes, check this story about Dublin city council figuring out that not sharing lanes with busses might help more people ride to work.

Rollersk8r 1:16 pm 14 Sep 11

darkmilk said :

There is definitely a problem when there are too many cyclists, if the infrastructure cannot support them, and Canberra is actually getting there if my experiences in the last week are anything to go by… and sadly these are experiences on a bike.

In the past, adults commuting by bike were a small percentage, and hence were self-selected so were reasonably fit, committed, and with a fair clue as to what they’re doing.

With the increased numbers of peope riding bikes, it becomes just like cars where the range of people on the road increases to embrace the lower end people who really shouldn’t be allowed to be in public alone let alone in charge of a vehicle.

And this is a perspective from on a bike…

The students wobbling their way down bike lanes toward other bikes with no lights, several ‘lost my licence DUI’ guys in trade clothes with no helmet,lights and definitely no clue riding through intersections on the wrong side without looking let alone signalling or giving way, these are the types of cyclist increasing lately and are an annoyance to people on bikes doing it right (lights, mirrors, hi-vis gear, signals, knowing the road rules, defensive riding) These are the people off-road lanes are for – the on-road lanes should be there, for the people doing it right. Mirrors and lights (daytime) should be mandatory on bikes to use these lanes too.

On the bright side though they are less dangerous on a bike than in a car.

I kid you not – I had a bloke in front of me riding up Northbourne on a BMX wobbling all over the place. As I got closer I realised why he was wobbling. He was carrying a woman sitting side-saddle on the frame – and she would have been at least 70 years old – and she was smoking!

A funny site for some but an impassible obstacle for all other cyclists, not to mention one of the most dangerous things I’ve seen in my life!

darkmilk 12:53 pm 14 Sep 11

There is definitely a problem when there are too many cyclists, if the infrastructure cannot support them, and Canberra is actually getting there if my experiences in the last week are anything to go by… and sadly these are experiences on a bike.

In the past, adults commuting by bike were a small percentage, and hence were self-selected so were reasonably fit, committed, and with a fair clue as to what they’re doing.

With the increased numbers of peope riding bikes, it becomes just like cars where the range of people on the road increases to embrace the lower end people who really shouldn’t be allowed to be in public alone let alone in charge of a vehicle.

And this is a perspective from on a bike…

The students wobbling their way down bike lanes toward other bikes with no lights, several ‘lost my licence DUI’ guys in trade clothes with no helmet,lights and definitely no clue riding through intersections on the wrong side without looking let alone signalling or giving way, these are the types of cyclist increasing lately and are an annoyance to people on bikes doing it right (lights, mirrors, hi-vis gear, signals, knowing the road rules, defensive riding) These are the people off-road lanes are for – the on-road lanes should be there, for the people doing it right. Mirrors and lights (daytime) should be mandatory on bikes to use these lanes too.

On the bright side though they are less dangerous on a bike than in a car.

Erg0 12:08 pm 14 Sep 11

They need to encourage more people to drive to work. Might I suggest on-path motor vehicle lanes?

Holden Caulfield 12:06 pm 14 Sep 11

See, we’re just like the utopia of Copenhagen after all.

Canberra also has too many cyclists! πŸ˜›

Rawhide Kid Part3 12:05 pm 14 Sep 11

Solidarity said :

Simple.

Road Rash.

Cycle style.

Then see the number of cyclists plummet!

In mu time way back when, It use to be called gravel rash..

Solidarity 11:45 am 14 Sep 11

Simple.

Road Rash.

Cycle style.

Then see the number of cyclists plummet!

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