Copenhagenizing: Copenhagen and Bikesharing
What is the most bike-friendly city in the world? Copenhagen! We present the cycling metropolis and its smart infrastructures.
The most bike friendly city in the world
Since the invention of the automobile and its spread, cities have been built for traffic. What promised boundless freedom back then is now stuck in traffic jams, smoking away and polluting residents, other road users and the climate with noise and air pollution.
But not for long: We are living in the midst of a cycling renaissance, and some major cities are promoting it better than others with their infrastructures. Copenhagen is doing it best.
Copenhageners travel up to 1.5 million kilometers a day by bike, which is more than 50% of all journeys to work, university or school. And they don't do this because they are bicycle fanatics per se and prefer the two-wheeler to other means of transport. They do it because the municipality has long been successfully fulfilling its goal of making cycling in Copenhagen easy, fast, safe and uncomplicated - for everyone.
1. why does Copenhagen benefit from a bicycle-friendly infrastructure?
First, let's state: Any bicycle-friendly infrastructure costs money. The Copenhagen municipality invests over 40 euros per capita per year in bicycle mobility. That adds up to just under 300 million euros, but according to a calculation by the Heinrich Böll Foundation, these investments generate socio-economic added value of just under 800 million euros a year: So it's worth it. A bike-friendly city always does, as we saw in the BikeCity blog post. Also because it is so much safer for its residents. There is only one serious bicycle accident in the Danish capital every 6 million kilometers.
2. how does Copenhagen's cycling strategy work?
Three ingredients are needed to make a city bicycle-friendly: Policies that value a sustainable and livable city, smart, creative architecture, and a new infratsructure.
Copenhagen has perfected the recipe and here's how:
Traffic calmed streets
In residential areas and quieter neighborhoods, car and bike riders share the road. What is chaotic and dangerous in many places is simple and safe in Copenhagen. Cars and motorcycles are forced not only by traffic signs, but by the architectural conditions of the road, to go no faster than 20 or 30 km/h. Narrow curves, gravel and cobblestones, and a lot of traffic make it difficult for cyclists to get around. Tight curves, narrow roads, gravel and cobblestones - so of course the brakes are applied and cyclists:inside are safer.
Wide, safe, connected bike lanes
On larger, more frequented streets, wide bike lanes have been painted on the asphalt or even separated from the car lane by a curb. And these are not bike lanes that are then suddenly diverted, stop, and emerge from nowhere 30 meters further on. No, in Copenhagen the network of bike lanes runs continuously through the entire city: straight and clear, it links all the important sights, parks, residential, shopping, university, and business districts.
For all traffic participants, the designated traffic areas result intuitively: Cars on the street, bicycles next to them on the bike lane, and pedestrians on the sidewalk. Cars often don't even have to cross the bike lane to park on the street bike: parking spaces are available between the lane and the bike lane, giving cyclists extra space and extra safety,
If you don't want to cycle next to diesel exhaust on the main roads despite having your own safe lane, you can rely on the large network of bike paths through parks or along the many canals: Here, cycling is not only easy, fast and safe - as in the rest of the city - but also a truly relaxing treat. Green, fresh, beautiful.
Nowhere else are there more accident risks for cyclists than at intersections: Blind spots, blind turners, confused pedestrians, the list goes on.... In Copenhagen, intersections are designed to prioritize the weaker road users.
Bike lanes continue straight through the intersection, so cars must automatically slow down for turning maneuvers. Traffic light phases (yes, in Copenhagen bikes have their own traffic lights at almost every intersection) are set so that cyclists:inside are allowed to leave a few seconds before cars, giving them a head start and thus they usually have already crossed the intersection before the first cars want to turn and they could be in a potential blind spot. Where it gets more crowded, the stop lines of cars at traffic lights are often up to five meters behind the stop lines of bicycles: this can further increase their safety advantage.
Footrests and extra railing
Speaking of traffic lights and stopping: It's not only safe on a bike in Copenhagen, it's convenient. At many major intersections, railings are installed to the right of the bike lane. These not only separate the bike lane from the pedestrians, but also offer cyclists a comfortable support for their feet. So you don't have to get off your bike at a red light, only to get back on your saddle as soon as the light turns green, but you can stay relaxed on your bike and even push off for a little start boost when the light turns green.
However, these railings are not only practical and comfortable, they are also safe. Pleasant waiting reduces incentives to run over red and thus put themselves in danger.
Copenhagen is crisscrossed by numerous canals and harbors. This requires the generous construction of bridges - where you place them strategically can be decisive for traffic in a city. For example, instead of 3,300 bicycles, as predicted in the year of construction, over 9,000 bicycles per day travel over the Bryggebroen Bridge - one third of which are former car drivers. The already clever bicycle network has been so cleverly expanded by the numerous (partly even car-free) bridges that thanks to them you can often get from A to B in the city faster and more easily on a bicycle than by car. And most of these bridges are not only practical, but also offer you beautiful views that you can enjoy much better from a two-wheeler. From the Cykelslangen (translated: bicycle snake) you can see the harbor, the Cirkelbroen allows you to see the Black Diamond Library and the spectacular play of light on its facade.
A bicycle city does not develop and build itself. You have to know the routes that will be taken, recognize urban patterns, and invest in smart, creative architecture. Copenhagen skillfully fulfills these tasks, making it a global role model. The Danish capital shows that sustainable mobility on two wheels is not only possible, but practical and improves the quality of life in a city.
Whether you're in Copenhagen, Freiburg, Paris, or a not-so-bike-friendly city, take this article as an impetus to get on your bike - because a city only becomes a bike city when we make it one. So get on your bike and if you're still looking for a bike that suits you, then take a look at buycycle: among the thousands of high-quality bikes you'll find here, there's bound to be one for you. If you have any questions, you can always contact our support, until then we wish you: Happy browsing, happy cycling!
Bikesharing | buycycle
Bikesharing: For whom it is worthwhile and how it works
The last streetcar has already left and you don't want to walk home for an hour? Or your train is coming in a few minutes, but you can't make it to the station fast enough? Covering long distances in the city on foot can quickly become tedious. And not everyone wants to be dependent on public transportation to get from A to B. Of course, a city bike is practical, but not everyone has one and especially not always with them. For some time now, many cities have been offering the solution of renting an e-scooter via an app. There are also other options, such as bikesharing. The option of renting a bike has even been around for around 30 years in some German cities, yet rental bikes have still not entered the minds of the majority. Here you can find out how bike rental works and why it's worth using.
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How does bikesharing work?
Bikesharing describes a bicycle rental system that is available in more and more cities, and in some cases also in rural regions. By registering with the respective provider, you can quickly and easily rent a bike via an app or a membership card. If you want to rent a bike via app, you get a pin with which you can unlock the rental bike. You pay for how long you use it. Whether you pay by the minute or by time depends on the bikesharing provider. Often the first half hour is free. On the one hand, there are station-based bike rental systems, where the rental and return locations do not have to be the same. It is only important that the bike is returned to a station so that no further time is charged. Bikesharing systems that are station-based sometimes offer the possibility to rent pedelecs, i.e. electric bikes, or cargo bikes, i.e. cargo bikes. In most cases, the fees here are somewhat more expensive than when renting a conventional bike. On the other hand, there is bikesharing, which sets up rental bikes within a flex zone. Within this flex zone you can rent the bike anywhere and park it again, but you can also move around with the bike outside this zone as long as you bring it back to the zone. In bikesharing systems that are not station-based, the bikes have an electronic bike lock. Such rental bikes can usually be found and located via an app from the respective provider. Incidentally, users can usually also rent several bikes at the same time. There are various providers of bike-sharing systems. The best-known bike-sharing providers are Call a bike, Deutsche Bahn, Nextbike.de or Donkey Republic.
What is a Sharing Station?
Many bike rental systems operate on a station basis. Rental bicycles are provided at a sharing station. Sharing stations are usually located near public transport stops in urban areas. In larger cities, there are sharing stations all over the place. Meanwhile, there are not only rental bikes at sharing stations, but also e-scooters, e-scooters or e-bikes can be rented there. You can find the nearest sharing station via an app of the respective provider. The stations are usually marked with a sign and lettering on the ground. By the way, as long as you have not returned your rented vehicle to any sharing station, the rental process continues and you have to pay. There are also stationless rental systems, where you can leave your rented bike anywhere as long as you are in the right zone. This system is also known from car sharing in many cities.
How much does a bikeshare ride cost?
The price is usually calculated according to the time used. You can either charge by the minute or by time packages such as 60 minutes, 90 minutes or the whole day. Payment is made directly via the customer account. Many providers entice their customers with a free half-hour of use or free time packages when they register. For commuters who want to bridge the way to the train station with bikesharing, various subscription offers are also worthwhile. Also for tourists, many providers offer multi-day bookings that save money. An example of the price we show the rental bikes of the Munich transport company (MVG). Per minute one pays eight cents, per day a maximum of 12€. For a rented e-bike, you pay twice that. Stadtrad Hamburg charges ten cents per minute if you don't book a special rate. The maximum charge per day is €15.
How do I pay for bikesharing?
Depending on the type of registration, a payment method is entered in the app or in the customer account on the provider's website. The most common payment methods are Paypal, direct debit with direct debit authorization, or credit card. After the trip is completed, the amount due is debited.
What happens after the ride?
There are different variants of bikesharing. In so-called free-floating bikesharing, bicycles can be rented anywhere in a certain area, the flex zone, and parked anywhere. Of course, the bikes can also be used outside the area, but they must be returned. More common, however, is station-based bikesharing, where there are fixed locations where the bikes can be rented and returned. The rental bike must either be parked in the flex zone or at a sharing station, otherwise the rental continues and you have to pay.
What are advantages of bikesharing?
Not everyone owns a city bike. But thanks to bikesharing systems, that doesn't matter. They make it possible to rent bikes both flexibly and inexpensively. This eliminates the risk of having your own bike stolen. Anyone who lives or has lived in the city knows how quickly theft can occur and how annoying it can be. Also, the own bike is protected from vandalism. The fees for bikesharing are offset by the fact that you don't have to buy your own bike, and you also save on maintenance costs to keep your own bike roadworthy. Moreover, sharing stations are sensibly positioned in cities. You can usually find the rental bikes near train stations or at local public transport stations such as bus stops, S-Bahn stations or streetcar stations. This is particularly interesting for commuters, as they can do without a car to get to the station. But also for everyone else the way home can be accelerated in a pleasant and uncomplicated way. It's also nice to be able to explore foreign cities with the rental bike and not just rely on public transport. This way, you get to see much more of the city while the fresh wind blows around your nose. The use of bikesharing leads to the expansion of bike rental networks even in more rural areas, which is in line with the promotion of environmentally friendly forms of mobility. This is because bikesharing reduces pollutant emissions. The expansion of bicycle traffic contributes to the necessary traffic turnaround. In many cities, bikesharing rental bikes are demonstrably even used more than private bikes. After all, the rental bikes are cleverly positioned in the city and quickly available when you need them. Moreover, they are independent of the time of day, unlike public transport.