By Christopher Cudworth (with contributions from Keith Hauser)
Part of the difficulty in making the cycling and running world safer for millions who run and ride is in stretching the public imagination to see what is possible when people really put their minds to the issue of safe, simple solutions for public trails and bike lanes.
Following a blog post on We Run And Ride titled Who Owns the Road Where You Run and Ride, a rider named Keith Hauser sent along this response and the photos he’d taken of cycling in Copenhagen, Denmark:
“In the last decades, Copenhagen has gone bike-crazy. The wide bike-lanes are filled with thousands of bicycles all day long. Copenhagen can now compete with any Dutch town on bicycle density. They have set the bar really high for any other city that wants to call itself a “green city”.
There is also a system of public bikes, old clunkers available at
special bike racks where you push a coin into a slot to unlock the bike, and you get the coin back when you lock it back up at one of their stands. These are mainly used by tourists. They’re really simple: one-speeds, no racks, no baskets, no lights. And you can only use them inside the old town. You often have to go to several bike stands to find one with any bikes there. But they’ve been perfect for me: lots of sightseeing done the last days. It’s sponsored by the city and 10 other sponsors, and
they have 2500 bikes. The original idea was to reduce general bike theft by making these available.
Parents all over town use their Christiania 3-wheel bikes, with
a box for groceries or kids up front, to take the kids to day-care or school. No need to use a gas-guzzling SUV for that. The double-decker bike racks are at the Nørreport subway station. This is just a small part of the bike racks there.”
What a wonderful example of a city and country that has taken the initiative to make cycling safer and more practical for its residents. It also happens to make cycling practical and inviting for tourists! What a concept!
They even offer free bikes for use by anyone. Just unclick and go. What else do we need to know? The examples here show what’s possible. And cities like Chicago are, in fact, beginning to move in this direction. The city already has miles of running and bike paths along its lakefront, and cities around the country seem to be following suit.
Here in our little section of the world there are even plans to turn a landfill into a cycling and recreation center at Settler’s Hills Landfill. That means piles of garbage will be turned into place to run, bike and play. A good idea, no?