Bike traffic in Copenhagen

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK — During my time here in Copenhagen, I’ve wanted to bust out a camcorder to show the heavy traffic flow of cyclists, but sadly, my video and filming skills (and equipment) are close to non-existent. So I resorted to old-school, stop-action animation. Here I’ve pieced together about 40 images taking during one light cycle at a bridge just north of the city’s downtown core.


  1. I counted only 6 helmets. If an anti-bicyclist were in government, he’ll make wearing helmets as a way to reduce bicycle use.

  2. Not to start a big helmet fight or anything, but I think it’s pretty well-established that typically when governments have introduced mandatory helmet laws, bike riding has decreased.

  3. No spandex or lycra, imagine having cyclists who aren’t in an imaginary Tour de France.

  4. Can you imagine the volume of automobiles or SUV’s there would be if they didn’t use bicycles? Most likely just a driver in a car.

    And the parking spaces needed, especially when you consider that a parking space takes more space than a typical office cubicle, but a bicycle could fit inside a supervisor’s cubicle if need be.

  5. Love it! If you get a chance you might try a time-sequence from a rooftop, to get a sense of balance of bikes vs. cars.

  6. Love it too! Looks so ideal! I’m so jealous! 🙂

  7. I was in Copenhagen a couple of weeks ago. It was amazing to see a city choose to make bikes a priority, and develop their waterfront.

    I’ve never biked so much in my life…thankfully Copenhagen is a pretty flat city.

    Speaking of helmets, this is a campaign from Denmark

  8. In a city like Copenhagen where there is excellent separation of bicycles from general traffic, the benefits of wearing a helmet are probably overstated.

  9. what’s up with all the comments on bike helmets? they prevent brain injury. i don’t want an avoidable brain injury. and having bike lanes isn’t an excuse to wear no helmet, because the pavement is just as hard in bike lanes as everywhere else. people who ride on paved roads without helmets are the ones who look stupid to me.

  10. Bike speeds are no more than 20km/hr. In a section of the city there is a throughfare called the Green Lane (or Way?) that has traffic signals timed for cyclists going at 20km/hr. From talking to bike planners in CPH, this speed seems to have reduced the relatively few bike accidents and injuries that have occurred along this stretch.

    I also have a piece coming out soon on CPH’s approach to bike safety and helmets.

  11. Wearing a bike helmet does not discourage me from biking (I actually panic if I suddenly realize that I forgot to put one on), but what does discourage me is the law saying I can’t bike on the sidewalks, which just leaves using the throughfares with their freeway like conditions. I live in Scarborough by Eglinton Ave, which is void of bike lanes. The fact that Sheppard East and Lawrence East have them is a great start, but more needs to be done.

  12. It’d be nice to know what time of day, or weekday/weekend these photos were taken, to put the volume in context.

    I agree, the stop-animation is great!

  13. Cycling head injury numbers are around the same as basketball head injuries, and I don’t see Lebron wearing a helmet.

  14. Yup, Copenhagen sets the blue standard for biking very high, and we’re Caronto the Carrupt. I regard the Bloor St. Transformation as a real wasted chance to properly design a road for bikes but the City and the progressives have voted for lousy planning and a warmer world by not even having the word “bike” in the Road Alteration Report. Then there’s the evasion of the Environmental Assessment issue too.
    For a really good contrast to TO, this is linked on the TaketheTooker site as well.
    Bells on Bloor ride on May 31, and the Bloor bikeway report is finally released after maybe 3 years and it is likely going up to PWIC on June 3.

  15. love the stop action.. give you a chance to see those little moments frozen in time..

    i’d love to see that much bicycle traffic in toronto..


  16. Show me a peer reviewed study that finds that bicycle helmets reduce head injuries, and I’ll wear a helmet. Oh wait, such a study doesn’t exist.

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