Sunday, June 24, 2007

Cycle to work: Denmark shows the way

In Denmark, there are many people uses the bike and not for leisure, but to to to work, go to the movies, visit friends and relatives, etc. In Copenhagen, he bikes are the dominant form of transport. There are dedicated bike lanes, and paved bumps separate the bike lanes from the cars, and there are no pedestrians in the bike lanes. At each crosswalk there are red and green traffic lights just for the bikes.

And the bikes have lights. The vast majority still uses the old dynamo that grinds against your tire to generate electricity for the back red light and front headlamp. That is much environmentally friendly than using battery operated lights.

They also have a free loaner bikes program. Copenhagen has installed 1,500 city bikes that they loan to the public and by poping A 20 kronor ($3.60) coin into a lock, you get to use the bike plus get the money back when you park the bike in the city bike zone for the next user.

The "Mayor" of Putrajaya, the new administrative capital for Malaysia carved out from large chunck of palm oil plantations (a white elephant in my opinion and one which makes things who need official things done very inconvenient because of long travel needed) asked the civil servants (majority of the population of Putrajaya are civil servants) to cyle to work, but I doubt anyone responded. For one, I doubt the "Mayor" himself cycle to work. There are no dedicated bicycle lanes and the weather is hot and very sunny, unlike the cool climate in Denmark.

In Copenhagen, exiting a cab always elicits the same remark from the driver: "Watch out for the bicycles!"

That's because in this city the bikes are the dominant form of transport,

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