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Bike-friendly Copenhagen faces cyclist backlash

Published on Dec 6, 2013 12:01 PM
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COPENHAGEN (AFP) - In one of the world's best cities for bicycles, Copenhagen cyclists are earning a reputation for recklessness and arrogance, prompting calls for politicians to back-pedal on plans to further boost bike traffic.

Long considered one of Europe's two "bicycle capitals" along with Amsterdam, Copenhagen counts more bicycles than people, and 36 per cent of those who work or study in the Danish city use a bike for their daily commute.

But as cycling has increased, so has the number of cyclists barrelling down the city's pavements, car-free streets and even train platforms, to the dismay of spooked pedestrians. "The cyclists aren't very good at sticking to the rules. They typically go into pedestrian areas," said Mogens Knudsen, operations leader of the Copenhagen police's traffic unit. "If you walk down pedestrian shopping street Stroeget, you will see cyclists zigzagging between the people, and they do so at a high speed," he added.

For years city officials have prided themselves on Copenhagen's many cyclists, receiving politicians and journalists from around the world to study the city's infrastructure and its plans for an even more ambitious network of "cycle superhighways".

 
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