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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Cycle Super Highways in Greater Copenhagen area.



A Cycle Super Highway is a cycle highway, where the commuters’ needs have been given the highest priority. The project seeks to create routes that offer fast, comfortable and safe service. A Cycle Super Highway is defined both by its location, as well as its physical qualities. The highway should connect areas with many workers and students to their home, and to public transport possibilities as well. The highways should be fast, meaning as direct as possible and with as few stops as possible. A good example of how this is achieved is by the use of green waves. Traffic lights are normally coordinated in favor of cars, but the aim for the Cycle Super Highways, is for traffic lights to be adjusted for cyclists along the many main traffic arteries. At an average speed of 20km/h, cyclists will be able to surf a wave of green lights through the city during rush hour, without putting a foot down.
Planning across municipal boundaries is the key to success
Traffic does not respect the individual municipal boundaries. Cooperation between municipalities in the metropolitan region must then be the foundation to sustain the region's position as a centre for the development of green growth and sustainable mobility. Efforts to promote bicycle commuting in the metropolitan region requires that cycling conditions are at the top, regardless of which municipality they cycle through on their way between work, education and home.
In 2009, the Copenhagen municipality initiated to invite a broad collaboration of municipalities to create a network of bicycle commuter routes. 18 municipalities and the Capital Region joined the project and - with support from the state pool for more bike traffic - established a partnership anchored in a project secretariat.
A larger community - working with public transport
The unique cooperation between municipalities helps to create a closer relationship with neighbouring municipalities. Experience so far shows that cooperation has been fruitful and instructive, and it can hopefully be used in many other contexts as well.
It is an objective for municipalities to create strong partnerships with providers of public transport and businesses along the route network. Good working relationships is initiated to ensure the best possible terms for the commuter cyclists, regardless of whether the trip is combined with other modes of transportation and need for stations with bike ramps, secure parking and opportunities to bring your bike in the train or bus. Or whether they bike all the way to work or study and therefore have the need to change clothes, use air pumps and have covered bicycle parking. 
The routes
All participants have jointly developed a proposal for a coherent and homogeneous network of Cycle Super Highways. There are a total of 26 routes, which in structure resembles the expansion of both rail and road network in the metropolitan area, i.e. with radial routes (with one common starting point) with the direction in and out of town and ring routes across the city. It is inspired by the idea of the famous "Five Finger Plan" from 1947, which has formed the basis for urban planning in the metropolitan area. Hence, the network was conceived through assessments of the Finger Plan and locations of businesses / residences, using the municipal local knowledge and input from stakeholders and interested citizens and current users of the bike trails. Most of the trails run along existing trails and roads, but some routes will be established in a brand new course. Until now there is a planned network that will collectively run up to 300 km Super Cycle Highways.

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