Copenhagen Now Has More Bicycles Than Cars, Study Concludes

Over the past 20 years, two-wheeled traffic in Copenhagen has increased by an astonishing 68%!

Credit: VisitDenmark

Credit: VisitDenmark

Denmark is known to be a progressive country due to its ambitious goal of becoming the world’s first 100% organic nation, but another feat recently landed it in the news. According to a new study, the country’s capital city, Copenhagen, now has a higher number of bikes than cars.

The Guardian reports that the city has been manually tracking the number of bikes in the city for decades. Over the last few years, however, 20 electric sensors were added to help tally the number of cyclists in the streets – the first was installed in 2005. Recently, it was confirmed that an additional 35,080 bikes are in Copenhagen, leading to a total of 265,700. This number is higher than the city’s 252,600 cars by a large margin.

The Danish government seeks to track bicycle traffic in an effort to encourage more urban cycling. According to these statistics, the initiative seems to be working. The sensors have helped data collectors determine that over the past 20 years, two-wheeled traffic has increased by an astonishing 68%!

Because car exhaust pollutes the environment, the nation’s government wants citizens to commute on bikes versus driving. In order to support this goal, $143 million has been invested in the city since 2005, with much of that capital going toward bike and pedestrian-only bridge development, as well as infrastructure that reduces car-bike incidents. Not only is biking better for the environment, it benefits peoples’ cardiovascular health.

While bike traffic has increased by 15% within the last year, car traffic has only declined by 1%. The city’s present mayor, Morten Kabell, is optimistic about the future, however. He told The Guardian that the city aims for 50% of all commutes to be made on bikes by 2025. Already, 41% of commutes within the city are made on bikes; this reality acknowledged, it shouldn’t be too difficult for the goal to be reached.

Credit: City Clock Magazine

Credit: City Clock Magazine

In 2019, a new metro expansion is planned to be unveiled. While its development might slow the increase of bike traffic, Kabell isn’t worried. In fact, he’s optimistic about the city’s future, as the metro is an emissions-free form of transportation. He commented:

“The important thing for me is to have a green transport system. As long as it’s fossil-free and alleviates congestion and air pollution, I’m cool with that.”

Kabell says that the city is “a constantly evolving goal,” and that big changes will undoubtedly be witnessed in the near future. What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!


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