Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Relatively super

You can stick the word "super" on the front of anything to try and given an impression that it is something new, shiny and, well, super. We've had Super Schools and Super Departments and we're stuck with supermarkets. London has its Cycling Superhighways which alas turned out not to be that super at all. Instead, they consist primarily of gutters that have been painted blue. This expresses the general sentiment quite well:

(The original is here).

Now it is the turn of Copenhagen. A good write up along with a bunch of pictures of the official opening is on the Copenhagenize website.

Not all of the reviews have been positive so far though. Compared to current Danish cycling facilities, it might perhaps be said that the new route is on a par. As with pretty much all Danish infrastructure, compared with the gold standard Dutch stuff, it could be better. Bicycle Dutch is quite right to point out the flaws. Having said that, relatively speaking, it is brilliant. Here's a 5 minute video of the route sped up (it's from a Danish newspaper called Politiken. I hope they allow embedding):

Kør gennem supercykelstien på fem minutter (tr: Drive through the super bike path in five minutes)

How great would it be to have routes like this leading in and out of the city with cross routes linking schools, shopping centres, railway stations and other destinations? You can see from the video that a couple of busy roads have to be crossed but that is easily rectified with a signalled crossing. And how great is it that the cyclist was never dumped on to a busy road? If the route ended, it was in a quiet estate or it was on a separate bike lane.

Linear Park is the closest thing we have to this, as well as the Mike Turtur bikeway to an extent. They suffer in places from being a bit too narrow and, in the case of the Mike Turtur bikeway, stop at some quite busy intersections. Also, at the end of it, you're dumped on to a very busy King William Road with no protection. Nevertheless, more of that type of infrastructure integrated into a decent joined-up on-road network would be, relatively, super.


  1. The gear system on this cruiser is the Shimano internal3-speed California Bikes.


    1. Oh it's you again Helena. I'm starting to thin you might be a robot.

    2. Helena is spreading.Here she is on Alicia's blog.