Seattle to Copenhagen Snyder

Every bicycle advocate and transportation planner dreams of going to Copenhagen and seeing its world-class bicycle infrastructure. My dream came true: I have been invited to join a study tour June 5-10, and will join Seattle elected officials, department of transportation staff, and other bicycle advocates in Copenhagen for five bicycle-intensive days!

Developed by i-Sustain and underwritten by scan/design Foundation, the study tour examines Urban Sustainability: Bicycling lessons from Denmark. It includes site visits, presentations, and of course, touring the city by bicycle.
Increasingly, American cities realize that bicycling can and should be a significant part of transportation planning, but few electeds or planners know how to get from 1-2% commuting rate to the Danish experience of +37%. Topics on the study tour will include:

  • urban and suburban bicycle planning for commuting
  • prioritizing bicycles over cars
  • design of bicycle infrastructure including intersections, cycle paths and lanes, signals, signs and parking
  • public campaigns and marketing
  • bicycle safety
  • bicycle path maintenance
  • bicycle-specific technologies
  • financial incentives for bicycle commuting

The study tour will be the easy part: applying the lessons from Copenhagen to Seattle and Washington cities will be the challenge and one the Bicycle Alliance will take as part of our Strategic Plan action plans.

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  1. Anonymous
    Posted June 18, 2011 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    Without “bicycle infrastructure”, we could probably get percentages closer to that, too, if … if:

    1) our cities were pancake-flat like Copenhagen
    2) our cities were dense, with everyone living cheek-by-jowl as they do in Copenhagen, making average travel distances far shorter
    3) our gasoline cost $7-8/gal as it does in Copenhagen
    4) our parents taught our kids that bicycling is not inherently dangerous, as they do in Copenhagen

    I do not have statistics for Copenhagen, but I do know that in the Netherlands there were more bicycle trips per overall trip BEFORE they had ANY “bicycle infrastructure” (post-WWII). I.e., “bicycle infrastructure” is not what engendered the current mode split; it was the items mentioned above, among others.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted June 2, 2011 at 4:49 am | Permalink
    Audio phrase book of Danish Language in case you haven't been to a Scandinavian country before!

  3. Posted June 2, 2011 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    Have a wonderful and educational time. Make sure those electeds get the message. Good bicycle infrastructure will get people on their bikes!

  4. Posted June 1, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    You might want to check out the latest Street Films on Bike Sharing in the city of Hangzhou.