Sunday, June 27, 2010

I bike CPH

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The Velocities conference in Copenhagen got pretty nice marketing support around the City. Mostly marketing for bicycling, there is information about the conference. Perhaps it was a Public Service Announcement for the advertisers that provided the space, regardless it was a nice touch.

Copenhagen Bike Counting System

One of the coolest Intelligent Transportation System devices I have seen for bicycles is the counting system (that is before I saw the in pavement warning system which I will describe later). Upon visiting the bike counting system I noticed a few things about it that are worth describing.  
First, it is not just for bike counting, attached to it is a bike pump/compressor that can be used to inflate tires. No coins to add, just another way to intice people to use their bikes. The system also provides the time and the date. I am not sure why there is blue pavement markings at this location, but there are, perhaps that is for tourists to make them recognize how important they are to the community when they are on the bikes (ha!) 
The loop detectors are probably special to the unit because the bikes were going across it anywhere in the lane and you would want to count as many as you could and try to do so accurately to make the cyclists feel like they were part of the 5,000 or so that had travelled the lane that day. I noticed a few being missed as I watched for a few minutes, but it seemed to work pretty well. The double diamond layout might help distinguish cyclists that are travelling side by side in the width of the lane.
It would be great data and information to have, especially if we could track weather and rainfall at the location, which obviously has a significant effect on ridership.
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Respecting Cyclists in Work Zones

In Copenhagen, it is clear that respect for cyclists is part of their green ethic. This photo is one such example. Note the placement of this construction equipment on the street. Even in Portland, we'd have the equipment as close as possible to the curb, perhaps even on part of the sidewalk to insure no potential conflict with vehicular traffic. In this example, the equipment provides an opportunity for passage by people on bicycles and motorists. The guidebook was true to the words on the paper when it states: "In Denmark the cyclist is king. Everyone in Denmark cycles, regardless of age or class, and there are excellent cycle lanes in all towns, cities, and most of the countryside. Cyclists usually have right of way in traffic and, particularly in Copenhagen, they take no prisoners."
Tomorrow, I will do more peak hour riding and will see if I can tell any difference.

As I was riding around the City tonight, there was a lot of traffic for Sunday night after 9 PM. I drove through the square where they have the World Cup viewing parties and enjoyed the scene. Argentina beat Mexico 3 to 1 and there was a big crowd. A few light blue and white jerseys cheering for Argentina, but mainly just Danes enjoying football. I left just as the game was ending and took a circular route going home. As I was biking home, there was a group of about 15 cyclists in the lane ahead of me. It was a nice way to end the day.
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