Measures to incrase cycling
Bicycle-Friendly Street Norrebrogade
The Norrebroagde is a major radial street in Copenhagen from the suburbs into the city centre. Especially for cyclists it is an important link from the city centre to the outer parts of the city. Additionally it is a central shopping street in a dense trendy living area. It used to be an ordinary city street with a maximal speed of 50km/h. In each direction there were two lanes for the cars, one cycle track in places as narrow as 2 m and the pavement. The amount of cyclists which used the street was about 30,000 cyclists/day and 17,000 cars/day in 2004. To increase the travelling speed for cyclists already in 2006 a green wave for the cyclists was established in the Norrebrogade (see "Green Wave" Best Practice).
The Norrebrogade project was developed in the context of the politically decided programme "Eco-Metropolis" to develop Copenhagen to the world capital of cycling and climate. Until 2015 the share of cyclist for commuting is projected to be 50% (2008 37%), the number of injured cyclists shall decrease about 50% and 80% of the cyclists should feel safe. To achieve these goals the changing of the Norrebrogade as the street with the most cyclists into a really bike friendly street was one project. The reduction of car traffic has to be reached with a diversity of measurements like reducing the space for cars, lowering the speed or rising the costs for the usage of the car. The implementation of road pricing is not possible because of restrictions through the national law so the focus of the city of Copenhagen lies in the other measurements.
For the Norrebrogade it was decided to put it on a "Road diet" what
ment to downsize it, to make it less attractive for cars. The
motorised traffic of the Norrbrogade could have been absorbed by an
other street nearby. During a testing phase in 2009 temporarily
measures were implemented:
- in each direction one lane for cars (one less than before)
- lower speed limits (40 km/h)
- the cycle tracks width had been doubled in some places (up to 4 m).
- pavement for the pedestrians has been widened in places
- on the pavements sunny side there is more room for outside cafés and restaurants
- cars are forbidden to pass at two points but some still does though it is not legal (no permanent controls either)
- busses still pass the street
- refuges for bus passengers introduced
- reduction of parking (less parking places, no long term parking, delivery is possible from side-streets)
- at the junctions the bikes can turn into the street but not the cars
The project was initiated by the Mayor for the Technical and Environmental Administration, Klaus Bondam, who was very concerned about the demands of cyclists. It has been decided by the politicians to make one part of the project permanent. Until now the measures are only temporarily, the design and the building is only provisional and not very elaborated. A permanent solution is designed by early 2010 and the expenses amounting to some DKK 37 million (ca. 5 Mio.Euro). The financing is proved by the politicians and will be taken from the ordinary street budget.
The Norrebrogade project was planned by the Traffic department, also involving Moller and Gronborg Architecs. The whole process of implementation of the provisional measures was quite difficult. The shop owners had strong objections. Alltogether it was very political and unpopular for certain groups and the mayor had to fight for the project.
Since 2005 a gradually increase from 30,000 Cyclists/Day to 37,000
has been observed. Thoroughfare car traffic has been reduced about
nearly 50%. Although some groups are not pleased with the
measurement it had a great impact to the attractiveness of the
street (evaluation made by COWI Consults). Temporarily measures
will be changed into permanent urban design. The financing is
approved to change more than half of the street into a permanent
status with nice urban design. It is not clear when the money for
the second part will be approved and allocated. This depends on
political decisions and the availability of money. The timetable is
not fully in place.