Thursday, 21 January 2010

Safer Bike Lanes Come Down to Earth


bike lanes

Leave it to Copenhagen. While other bike geeks fight over guerilla-painted bike lanes, or shine them on the street with laser gadgets, or dream of floating them in mid-air, the City of Copenhagen and the bike advocacy group ibikecph installs a simple, low-tech fix that makes riding in the famously bike-friendly city even easier.

bike sign

The idea is a pair of railings, one low, one high, for cyclists stopped at intersections to balance on. You grab one and rest your foot on the other, so you can push off faster when the light turns green instead of rolling slowly through traffic fumbling with your pedals. The text reads: "Hi, cyclist! Rest your foot here... and thank you for cycling in the city."

Ride around any city enough and you'll take to balancing on signposts (in Copenhagen they're rumored to be rubbed smooth by so many cyclists' hands). These new railings play right into that behavior, but make it easier and safer--a great example of a city adjusting its infrastructure to what cyclists naturally do.

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