Advocacy, News

Business Insider & Copenhagenize Index: What Americans Don’t Get About Cycling

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The 2013 Copenhagenize Index of the world’s most bike-friendly cities is out, and not a single American metropolis made the top 20.

By failing to embrace cycling culture, American cities are losing out on significant financial benefits, Colville-Andersen (CEO of Copenhagenize)  told Business Insider. Studies show that every kilometer cycled in Denmark earns the country €.23 (partly because cyclists have been shown to spend more money in local stores), he said. And even with significant taxation of automobiles, every kilometer driven in Denmark costs the country €.16.

The problem in the U.S. is all about perception, said Colville-Andersen. Many commuters see cycling as a form of exercise, not convenient transport, and cities are still being built around automobiles.

Read the full story here: Here’s What Americans Don’t Get About Cycling — And Why It’s A Problem

 

2 Comments

  • Vivek

    April 30, 2013

    Whoa! I think we should take this study (and similar ones where they are totally non-transparent with the data, and likely have hidden agendas) with a grain of salt.
    Don’t get me wrong, I personally commute almost daily on my bike, and would like to see cities in the U.S. get much better at facilitating safe and efficient bicycle use. However, having recently been to Rio, I find the #12 ranking and 56 rating to be rather surprising and likely false and this has really colored my opinion of Copenheganize. I find it very surprising that Rio beats Seattle (not to mention Portland) on almost any of the 13 categories of criteria (see http://copenhagenize.eu/index/criteria.html). Thoughts on Rio in particular:
    Traffic Calming: my grade is an F since Rio traffic was quite unsafe for bike riders, way worse than a lot of Seattle (the speed limit on the beach front was more than 50kmph if I remember correctly!)
    Urban Planning/Bike Infrastructure: F The buses and trains almost impossible to get bikes into. Much better in Seattle.
    Modal Share: C if you do not count the recreational bikers on the beach. At least in the core of Seattle, I see much more bike use.
    and I could go on…
    Finally, the criteria themselves include really unnecessary ones like bike sharing infrastructure, which, while great for tourists, is a retarded use of public funds given the much larger returns from alternatives for the $$ like investment in bike infrastructure and the cost of the actual bike sharing itself, and the impossible task of creating enough stations in the right locations, all of which doesn’t really promote bike use for regular folks. What are “bonus points” anyway??

  • Tall Bryan

    May 1, 2013

    Excellent points. Obviously studies like this should always be taken with a grain of salt and a recognition of what organization is behind the study and what their agenda is. The articles are good conversation starters if nothing else.

    I really like your first hand accounts of cycling in Rio, thank you for sharing! You should also share with Copenhagenize.

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