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        Showing posts with label design. Show all posts
        Showing posts with label design. Show all posts

        22 November 2019

        7550 New Bike Parking Spots at Copenhagen Central Station

        Copenhagenize Design Co. - Bike Parking at Central Station
        For all of Copenhagen's badassness as a bicycle city, there remains one thing that the City still completely sucks at. Bicycle parking at train stations. At Copenhagen Central Station there are only about 1000 bike parking spots. Danish State Railways can't even tell us how many spots they have. They're not sure.

        Even in Basel they have 800+. In Antwerp they have this. Don't even get me started on the Dutch. 12,500 bike parking spots are on the way in some place called Utrecht. Amsterdam has a multi-story bike parking facility, floating bicycle barges round the back and are planning 7000 more spots underwater.

        Even at the nation's busiest train station, N?rreport, the recent and fancy redesign failed miserably in providing parking that is adequate for the demand. Architects once again failing to respond to actual urban needs.

        It is time to remedy that. Here is my design for 7550 bike parking spots behind Copenhagen Central Station. Steve C. Montebello is the architect that I worked closely with.

        Copenhagenize Design Co. - Bike Parking at Central Station
        By exploiting the area over the train tracks and using Tietgens Bridge as the transport spine, we have created an iconic bicycle parking facility with ample parking spots at this important transport hub where trains, buses and - in 2019 - the Metro converge in an inter-modal transport orgy.

        In our work on the EU project BiTiBi.eu - Bike Train Bike - we have been focused on parking solutions at train stations. It was a natural evolution to use that experience in developing this project.
        Copenhagenize Design Co. - Bike Parking at Central Station
        The structure is supported by columns and utilises the existing platforms below, which dictated the shape that we decided upon.

        There are:
        - 6880 bike parking spots in double-decker racks. This can be expanded with 1360 more if necessary.
        - 30 dedicated cargo bike parking spots featuring.
        - 640 secure, indoor bike parking spots in the green roofed building at left (above).
        - A bike shop for repairs and maintenence.
        - Ticket machines and displays for departures and arrivals of trains and buses.
        - At the end of the long point, the belvedere will be the world's premiere, dedicated lookout spot design for trainspotters.

        Copenhagenize Design Co. - Bike Parking at Central Station
        Here is the view of the area as it is today.
        Copenhagenize Design Co. - Bike Parking at Central Station
        There are four on/off ramps from Tietgens Bridge for ease-of-access.
        Copenhagenize Design Co. - Bike Parking at Central Station
        A secure bicycle parking facility will house 640 bikes.
        Copenhagenize Design Co. - Bike Parking at Central Station
        We used 3D models of bike racks courtesy of our colleagues at the Dutch company Falco. They know a thing or two about bike racks.
        Copenhagenize Design Co. - Bike Parking at Central Station
        There will be a space for a bike shop for repairs and maintenence located at the entrance, next to ticket machines and displays featuring departures and arrivals for trains and buses.
        Copenhagenize Design Co. - Bike Parking at Central Station
        The parking with have signs with areas divided up alphabetically, so you can find your bike again.
        Copenhagenize Design Co. - Bike Parking at Central Station
        There is access to the three platforms below by stairs that will, of course, have bike ramps. Duh.

        This facility will right so many wrongs and will thrust Copenhagen into the 21st century regarding bicycle parking at train stations. If we are  to maintain the momentum of a blossoming bicycle-friendly city, we need to up our game regarding parking.

        16 June 2016

        The Oslo Standard - Next Level Bicycle Planning and Politics

        The Oslo Standard for Bicycle Planning / Oslostandarden for sykkeltilrettelegging

        So there you are. A capital city in a European country wanting desperately to keep up with the cool kids. Wanting to improve city life, generally, but also focusing intensely on re-creating a bicycle-friendly city.

        Oslo has grand plans. The news in October 2015 that the city council had voted to make the city centre free of private cars by 2019 - as well as many other plans - was a shot heard round the world and captured imaginations in many other cities.

        The City of Oslo is gearing up for change, no doubt about it. At Copenhagenize Design Company, we’ve gone so far as to call the city “the next big thing” in bicycle urbanism. There are more people employed to make the city bicycle-friendly in Oslo than in almost any other city on the planet. Sure, they’re divided up in different, confusing departments, but they’re there. A group of vaguely focused landscape architect types in the city’s Bymilj?etaten (Agency of City Environment) and the City’s temporary Sykkelprojsektet - or Bicycle Agency - who are tasked with implementing the city’s bicycle strategy.

        It is the latter who are orchestrating the show and who have a clear understanding of what is needed and how to do it. Yesterday, The Bicycle Agency released a long-awaited document clearly outlining their roadmap for bicycle infrastructure in the city. It is one of the most interesting and inspiring documents we’ve seen coming out of a municipality anywhere in the world.

        The Oslo Standard. Remember that name.

        All good, right? Off they go, you might think. Political will, money, loads of people ready to work. Unfortunately, it turns out that it’s not that easy. Which is exactly why The Oslo Standard for Bicycle Planning now exists. It is available in a public hearing version, in Norwegian, but an English version will be out later in the year.

        Like many places, Oslo and other cities in Norway are under the thumb of a Road Directorate and the nature of such organisations is to be slow to change, keep a firm grip on outdated traffic engineering principles and generally be a pain in the ass of people who see a better vision for our cities.

        Like many places, Norway has road design standards dictated by said road directorate. Traffic engineers would have you believe they are carved in stone and are second only to the Ten Commandments in their worth. Oslo, however, has fired up their jackhammer.

        The Norwegian road design standards are, quite simply, the biggest hurdle to The Bicycle Agency implementing the City’s bicycle strategy. They are hopelessly outdated and include little in the way of modern, Best Practice bicycle infrastructure design.

        It’s not a new story. In 2012, the National Transport Ministry was tired of getting the same old, same old answers from the Road Directorate and chose instead to ask someone new. Together with Civitas, Copenhagenize Design Company produced a huge feasibility study to help boost cycling in Norwegian cities. The report basically recommended Best Practice infrastructure across the board.

        Oslo's First Cycle Track
        Norway and Oslo are no stranger to Best Practice. Aftenposten newspaper, in 1941, wrote about “Oslo’s First Bike Lane”, which was clearly inspired by Copenhagen. Indeed, a separated cycle track is called in professional circles a “dansk sykkelsti” - Danish Bike Lane.
        Trondheim Bicycle Infrastructure
        You can see examples in the country’s best city for urban cycling, Trondheim, put in in the 90s. A bit narrow, but hey. Best Practice, at least. Ironically, bizarrely and sadly, the Road Directorate removed these designs from their standards.

        This is where The Oslo Standard comes in. It is Oslo’s own standard for bicycle infrastructure design and it includes Best Practice solutions that are not included in the national road standards. The “dansk sykkelsti” is called “raised bicycle area”, in order to establish it in a new context.

        This is Oslo saying, “If you won’t modernise, we’ll do it on our own”.

        And they are. They have presented a clear vision for bicycle infrastructure design with their Oslo Standard and they are fine with stepping on the toes of the national road directorate. It is a planning document, but it is also a shot fired across the bow signalling a sea change in how Oslo wants to plan its streets for transport in the future. It has clear political signals, as well. Shoving is the new nudging. Shoving the road directorate into the new century.

        Here is the introduction to the document:

        The Oslo Standard for Bicycle Planning is one of the main initiatives in the City’s bicycle strategy. It translates the city’s goals for bicycle modal share, sense of safety, accessibility and traffic safety for cyclists into practical solutions for building bicycle infrastructure. Norway’s national bicycle strategy 2014-2023 includes a goal that 8% of all trips must be done by bike. This would mean that the modal share for bicycles in cities must be between 10-20%. The Bicycle Strategy for Oslo 2015-2025 has a declared goal that 16% of all weekday trips will be by bike before 2025. In 2013, the modal share was measured to be 8%.

        In a comprehensive study in 2013, a majority of Oslo’s citizens say they don’t feel safe cycling in the city and that much of the bicycle infrastructure that is in place doesn’t satisfy the citizens’ needs or wishes. As the country’s capital, Oslo must lead by prioritising pedestrians and cyclists and use solutions that make it possible to reach both national and municipal cycling goals.


        Clear, defined and with a “we’re going it alone” attitude. Refreshing.

        Compared with similar, strategic documents, The Oslo Standard wholeheartedly embraces Best Practice. The American NACTO guide, for example, has some good stuff but it also includes leftovers of designs that were chucked out of Danish Best Practice two decades ago and it has an awkward, American engineering feel to it, even though it hopes to be a counterweight to the ASHTO guide. The Oslo Standard, however, nails it. They have done their research.

        The Oslo Standard for Bicycle Planning / Oslostandarden for sykkeltilrettelegging
        Here you can see a selection of screen grabs of the infrastructure designs. Reading through the document we were pleased to see that bidirectional infrastructure is reserved for off-street areas and stretches without many intersections to avoid conflicts. Here is why THAT is important.

        The Oslo Standard for Bicycle Planning / Oslostandarden for sykkeltilrettelegging
        All manner of designs are included, featuring every street typology possible in the city of Oslo and, indeed, in most cities on the planet. Lots of inspiration from Danish Best Practice and some from Holland. Oslo is clear on their focus. No sub-standard solutions. Certainly no center-running lanes, that's for sure.

        The Oslo Standard for Bicycle Planning / Oslostandarden for sykkeltilrettelegging
        While cycle tracks are the default, there are still plans for painted lanes - causing shivers down the spine of any professional bicycle planner worth their salt - but as long as we know that they GET IT and want to do the proper design where possible, we can let it slide just a little. They know that bike lanes should be along the sidewalk and NOT inbetween the door zone in a single-occupant vehicle society and moving traffic. So that helps us sleep at night.

        While Oslo can muscle on and plans their streets with modern designs in the Oslo Standard, the road directorate still dictates signage. Which proves to be rather comical.


        This isn't Norway in the photo but it's a pretty close to what the situation looks like when the road directorate are in charge.

        So that is something that needs to be worked on. Then there is the bizarre bureaucracy inherent in the Oslo municipality.

        But a foundation has been laid in Oslo. A vision is ready to be made into a reality. The Oslo Standard is the new darling for bicycle urbanism.

        Let's hope that they can translate their vision into asphalt and boost transport in Oslo into the 21st century

        15 November 2015

        New Elevated Cycle Track in Copenhagen - 65 metres high



        Update: 17 November 2015
        We recieved an email from Steven Holl Architects about this crazy project.


        Dear Mr. Colville-Andersen,

        I hope this message finds you well. Upon reading your article on Steven Holl Architect’s project in Copenhagen, Copenhagen Gate, Gate L & Gate M, I’d like to clarify concerning cyclists using the new bridge.  Though it was initially requested by the city that bridge be for cyclist use, as the design now moves forward it is no longer to be used for cyclists and alternative solutions are being pursued.

        All my best,
        Kristen Tivey
        Press and Archive Coordinator

        It appears that the city will not follow up on its original tender requesting a design for a bridge between the towers and certainly not one that will accommodate bikes. Which is a good thing. Scroll to the bottom of this article to see a simple idea that could be upgraded with modern designs.

        ----

        Then, today (26 November 2015), this article appeared in the Danish paper, Politiken. Basically, the latest and possibly last word on this project is that there might be a bridge, but it will be private, not public. Too many challenges with keeping an aerial cycle track open to the public 24/7. The City is looking at other options. The towers will be built, but the goofy flying cycle track ain't gonna be all that.
        -----------

        Copenhagen has built or is building seven new bicycle bridges. In Copenhagen, they're called bicycle bridges, but we assume that there will also be pedestrian access - and there always is. But in the City of Cyclists, our perception is that a bridge ain't functional if it isn't for bicycles. The news here is that yet another bridge has gotten the go ahead. If the elevated cycle track we call the Bicycle Snake / Cykelslangen captured our imagination, have a look at the new kid on the block, above. A covered bicycle and pedestrian walkway 65 metres above the harbour. Leading from one tower to another.

        American architect Steven Holl won the competition for Marmormolen - or Marble Pier - back in 2008 but the financial crisis slowed stuff down in Denmark for a while. Now the project is green-lighted. This project is called LM Project.


        The towers will be built at the head of the part of the harbour that houses the world's third-busiest cruise ship port. The height of the elevated facility is due to the massive size of most (horribly unsustainable) cruise ships.

        At first glance one might think either "why bother" or "goofy gimmick", but the elevated cycle track and walkway wasn't an architect's whim. It was actually in the City of Copenhagen's tender material when the project was launched. A tower on each side connected by a bridge at least 65 m in the air.

        The reason is logistics and city policy. There has to be maximum of 500 metres from any home in Copenhagen to public transport, be it a bus stop, train station or metro station. If you look at the map, above, you can see that the tower on the right, at the end of Langelinie pier, would be much farther away from Nordhavn train station and the coming metro station, at left. If you had to walk or ride a bike all the way around.

        Therefore, with the elevated facility, people in the tower on the right will be within 500 metres of the stations and bus stops.


        Personally, I think it's a bit wild, but I know that it is necessary to stick to the fine policy of access to public transport. It will never be a main route for any great number of cyclists or pedestrians but it will be an important connection as the city continues to grow.

        It still adheres to the basic principles of Danish Design: Functional, Practical and Elegant. Okay, maybe it lacks thorough practicality - taking a large, bicycle-friendly elevator up to the clouds to cross a harbour head is not exactly a smooth, efficient transport flow. But the function as a link across the water is clear.


        Construction of the buildings and elevated facility will commence in 2016.

        BUT...
        Puente de Vizcaya
        After digesting the news of this bridge, we wonder if it really is the best solution. Like so much else, cool stuff has already been invented. Look at the Puente de Vizcaya in Bilbao, dating from 1893. Same issues were tackled. Large ships passing by and yet the need to connect two shores. Four million people use this bridge every year. It takes a minute and a half to glide from one side to the other. There is no way that the Copenhagen solution, above, is going to take 90 seconds.

        Cruzando el río
        Once again, a simpler solution has already been invented and has worked fine for over 120 years. We started this article with a reserved level of enthusiasm and then ended up with a feeling of WTF.




        01 July 2015

        Cargo Bike Logistics on Harbours and Rivers by Copenhagenize

        Cargo Bike Logistics by Copenhagenize Design Co.
        Urban logistics is just one of the many challenges facing our cities. After Copenhagenize worked for three years on the European Union project Cyclelogistics, we have cargo bikes on the brain and provide cargo bike logistics as one of our services. We also live in a city with 40,000 cargo bikes in daily use. As ever, we look for solutions not only for other cities, but our own. During the Cyclelogistics project we determined that there is a massive potential for shifting goods delivery to bikes and cargo bikes. 51% of all motorised private and commercial goods transport in EU cities could be done on bicycles or cargo bikes.

        Great. Let's do that. But how to do it best? Lots of small companies are already operating in cities with last-mile service for packages, which is great. DHL is rocking Dutch cities with cargo bike deliveries and UPS and FedEx are getting their game face on, too. But we need to think bigger and better.

        The City of Copenhagen created the framework for the idea of setting up a consolodation centre south of the city where logistics companies could drop off their goods in their larger trucks. Last mile service could be provided by smaller vehicles so that the trucks stay the hell out of our city. The industry has been slow to pick up the baton, however.

        Copenhagen's City Logistik website hasn't been updated for a while because industry is lagging behind. This film explains their basic concept:

        S?dan virker Citylogistik from Citylogistik on Vimeo.

        There are a lot of packages to be delivered to the citizens in cities. In the Netherlands, for example, over half of all shoes are bought online. That is a lot of shoeboxes needing to get out to the people. In Europe we speak of the Zalando effect - similar to Amazon in North America.

        Last mile service by smaller vehicles is great for cities but what about the solutions that are right there under our nose? What about the most ancient of transport corridors in our cities - the rivers and harbours.

        We at Copenhagenize Design Company propose having barges - electric if you like - plying the waters of Copenhagen harbour. Dropping off small goods at specially designed piers at strategic locations on the harbourfront. Secure facilities that keep the goods stored in lockers. Depots designed especially for cargo bikes to arrive and pick up goods - or drop them off - in order to deliver them to the people and businesses in the various areas and neigbourhoods.

        Our urban designer Adina Visan took our idea to the visual stage. Envisioning iconic off-shore depots for urban logistics along Copenhagen Harbour - or any city with a harbour or river.

        Cargo Bike Logistics by Copenhagenize Design Co.
        This should be the new normal for goods delivery in Copenhagen.

        Cargo Bike Logistics by Copenhagenize Design Co.
        Depots arranged to serve the densely populated neighbourhoods on either side of the harbour.

        Cargo Bike Logistics by Copenhagenize Design Co.
        Designed for a fleet of cargo bikes that can roll in, pick up goods in lockers, and roll out again onto the cycle tracks of the city.

        What are we waiting for?

        01 April 2015

        Choreography of a Copenhagen Corner - Desire Line Analysis



        Desire Line Analysis: Choreography of a Copenhagen Corner
        Cyclist Behaviour at a busy Copenhagen cycle intersection
        By Marie Lindebo Leth - Anthropologist


        For the next study in our Desire Line series we have picked a renowned Copenhagen bicycle hotspot: the S?torvet / Dronning Louise’s Bro intersection. Over 40,000 bicycle trips are made through this intersection at a daily basis, making it one of the busiest in the world in terms of cyclist volume.


        Such numbers create a special need for appropriate bicycle infrastructure in order to accommodate the bicycle users crossing this point. At Copenhagenize Design Company we have asked ourselves how we can determine the actual needs of bicycle users, and what solutions would be appropriate. This quest requires a greater understanding of the relationship between urban infrastructure and cyclist behavior, which is why we have conducted a Desire Line Analysis of this intersection.


        The value of studying cyclist behavior
        This study was conducted in collaboration with eight students from 4Cities, an international Urban Studies Master’s programme. Eight great and passionate students who tackled this analysis with professionalism.
        Lorena Axinte (Romania), Jamie Furlong (United Kingdom), Elina Kr?nzle (Germany), William Otchere-Darko (Ghana), Lucie Rosset (Switzerland), Guillén Torres (Mexico), M?elys Waiengnier (Belgium) and Devon Willis (Canada).

        In order to identify how cyclists interact with infrastructure, and with other cyclists and road users, the students positioned a video camera and a few observers at the intersection between the hours 7:00 and 19:00 on a day in November 2014.




        One particular spot in the intersection is the center of attention for this study. When cyclists approach the intersection, coming from North East along S?torvet and want to turn right onto Dronning Louises Bro, they tend to either ‘cut’ the corner by riding onto the pedestrian zone, or run a red light when turning right. At Copenhagenize Design Co. we are interested in digging deeper into this behavioral pattern and understand the scale of, and reason behind the exhibited behavior.


        Knowing how and why bicycle users consistently choose particular routes and strategies can help us understand priorities and motivations of bicycle users and inform our solutions - design-wise and political - in order to better accommodate their needs while paying mind to other road users as well.


        What are Desire Lines?
        At Copenhagenize Design Company, we have developed a method for determining how bicycle users actually navigate within the built environment and what routes they choose to take in various situations. This method we call Desire Line Analysis. By observing a bicycle user’s trajectory through a course of a road, we can determine the most traveled through routes - their desire lines. Desire lines are the easiest and most convenient ways of getting from point a to point b for bicycle users, and conceptually they should be distinguished from actual infrastructure with its pre-established paths. Desire lines might correspond with pre-established paths, but sometimes they don’t, and this is where they reveal flaws in the infrastructure that at the same time create opportunities for improvements.


        Six Desire Lines
        Based on our video footage we identified the cyclists’ desire lines, first by tracking their point of departure - ?ster S?gade or Gothersgade - and then by observing their destination - straight ahead, or right onto Dronning Louises Bro.


        However, in this Desire Line study our main focus is on those cyclists turning right. We discovered six general desire line categories that cyclists use when turning right onto Dronning Louises Bro.


        The desire lines above illustrate that cyclist typically chose one of following six trajectories or strategies when making a right turn:
        1. Following the official bike path - this desire line accounts for cyclists who turn right when the traffic lights are either green or red.


        All other desire lines below are drawn by cyclists that “cut”, i.e. they ride from the bicycle path up onto the sidewalk, cutting the intersection in order to arrive at Dronning Louises’ Bro.


        2. Avoid the pedestrians - cyclists who zigzag or change their path in order to avoid pedestrians.
        3. Cut in the middle - cyclists who did not cut immediately, but followed the path for a few more meters than category 4 and 5, before deciding to cut
        4. Cut following the path - cyclists who ride onto the sidewalk and proceed by mimicking the bicycle path until they are close to the traffic light  
        5. Cut right away - cyclists that cut the sidewalk as early as they can, without trying to follow the path.
        6. Cut last minute - cyclists who cut just as they arrived at the red light. (we suspect that when being confronted with a red light, people prefer riding on the sidewalk rather than waiting at for the light to change).


        Shortcutting to keep the momentum
        The question of what motivates people to cut the corner in order to arrive at the bike lane on Dronning Louises Bro is central to this study. In order to get closer to an explanation, we will first distinguish between cyclists who cut when traffic lights are red, and those who cut during a green light - where they could just as well have followed the bike path without stopping.


        The first group - cyclists who cut the corner during a red light - is the largest of the two. In particular, cyclists coming from Gothersgade, arriving on ?ster S?gade, then turning right, were more prone to cutting the corner when the light was red. This is probably because they most often arrive at a red light in the intersection. Traffic lights in this area are timed to provide cyclists coming a different direction - ?ster S?gade via Fredens Bro - with constant green lights that follow the speed of the average cyclist - the so called ‘green wave’. This, however, means that cyclists coming from Gothersgade will have their momentum disrupted when they arrive at the Dronning Louises Bro/?ster S?gade intersection. Thus, using the wide sidewalk as a quick way to avoid waiting for the lights to change can be tempting.


        The second group - cyclists who cut the corner while traffic lights were green - most often did so when there was a considerable number of cyclists in front of them, causing a queue for either turning right or continuing straight ahead. Such a situation creates an incentive to improvise a shortcut by riding across the sidewalk to get to Dronning Louises Bro.


        During the twelve hours we spent observing the intersection, only a few cyclist-pedestrian conflicts occurred. We are convinced that the considerable width of the sidewalk plays an important role here, since it leaves enough space for both pedestrians and cyclists to navigate around each other.


        Most played it safe
        We also found that of all the cyclists travelling through the intersection (i.e. those who went straight along ?ster S?gade and those who turned right onto Dronning Louises Bro), the majority acted “correctly” (i.e. they did not cut or go through a red light, but rather followed the traffic laws correctly). During midday (11:30- 13:30), 72% of cyclists acted correctly (following the traffic laws) and only 28% acted incorrectly or inappropriately (going through a red light or cutting). Similarly, during rush hour (15:30-17:30), 76% acted correctly and only 24% acting incorrectly.

        This means that on average 74% followed the traffic law, meaning that they respected red lights and stayed on the bike path instead of cutting the corner. The remaining 26% performed some form of law breaking act.
        However, during the morning rush hour, an average of 50% cyclists either cut through the sidewalk or jumped the red light, when heading towards N?rrebrogade from ?ster S?gade. 58% were male and 42% were female.


        Right-turners bent the rules more often
        While on average most cyclists acted correctly (74%), when looking at right-turning cyclists exclusively, the difference between those who followed the rules and those who didn’t, was less significant. Among cyclists who turned right onto Dronning Louises Bro, 52% acted correctly, while 48% acted incorrectly. Of those acting incorrectly, 35% went through the red light and 65% cut through the sidewalk.


        This ‘improper behavior’ might be connected to a phenomenon we have observed before; the so-called ‘domino effect’ where the actions and routes taken by one cyclist is copied by other cyclists behind him or her. In this sense a specific action legitimizes or inspires other cyclists to perform similar actions. For example, we noticed that once a cyclist is cutting, others start to follow suit. Conversely, when none in the front of the line cuts, the cyclists queueing behind also tend to stay in the group.


        Fewer cyclists run red lights during rush hour
        In the early afternoon (13:30-15:30), many more cyclists acted incorrectly, an average of 68% cut or went through a red light, as opposed to a daily average of 48%. We suspect that this is because there are much fewer cyclists, cars and pedestrians on the road during this time of the day, and thus it is easier for cyclists to cut the intersection or slipping through a red light in a safer way, without getting noticed as much.


        Only 16% of all the cyclists we observed went through a red light (i.e. actually going through the red light on the bicycle path, not by cutting). Although the average is quite low, as mentioned above, larger numbers of cyclists were going through the red light at certain points of the day: in the late morning (9:30-11:30) an average of 27% of cyclists coming from Gothersgade went through the red light, and in the early afternoon (13:30-15:30) an average of 41% of cyclists coming from this street went through the red light. Again, it seems like cyclists are more likely to run a red light in between rush hours. In fact, only 3% of cyclists went through the red light from Gothersgade during rush hour. This observation supports our theory that a higher volume of road users creates a lesser incentive for cyclists to go through a red light.


        Lessons learned
        Our study confirms findings generated in previous desire line studies, showing how bicycle users create routes based on what is faster and most convenient, regardless of whether appropriate infrastructure is there or not. Although it sometimes means that bicycle users will follow the informal lead of other cyclists, and circumvent traffic rules in order to get to their destination, considerations regarding safety and/or public shaming do appear to inform their decision making.


        Only 1:4 of the total number of bicycle users we observed actually broke the law. When they did cut the corner, they strategically picked different routes through the pedestrian zone in order not to collide with each other, and only very few conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians occurred.


        To make a long story short, bicycle users are motivated to keep momentum going, and depending on the circumstances, some are ready to circumvent formal rules and collectively improvise their own in order to make their travel easier, if existing infrastructure does not accommodate their needs.


        Copenhagenize Fixes
        So where should we go from here? Depending on the priorities of city authorities, different approaches could be used to mitigate the percieved ‘improper cyclist behavior’ in this intersection.


        1. Considering the volume of bicycle traffic, the most obvious retrofit would be creating a cycle track in an arc across the corner to allow cyclists to turn right unimpeded by traffic lights. A similar solution is already in place on the opposite corner, leading cyclists across a sidewalk to Vendersgade from N?rrebrogade. As we understand it, one department in the City of Copenhagen would be against this - worried about protecting the architectural integrity of the location. This is rather silly, considering the fact the City had plans to rip out of the grassy knolls formed by WW2 bunkers, cut down the trees and sanitize the whole area. That idea died, fortunately, but it is clearly a sign that change can happen at this location. The basic fact at this location is that the majority of cyclists are turning right and the minority are heading parallel to The Lakes. Desire Lines are democracy in motion. People voting, as it were, with their feet and bicycle wheels.
        2. As we found from the research, the main reason for cutting the corner or going through the red light is that cyclists coming from Gothersgade are trying to bypass the red light and simply maintaining their momentum. Especially in the busy rush hour it would be beneficial to time the traffic lights for cyclists coming from Gothersgade so that they continue in a smooth flow up N?rrebrogade. Maintaining, respecting and legitimizing the momentum that cyclists need would eliminate the need for cutting the corner.
        3. It is with good reason that allowing right turns on red is steadily becoming law all over Europe. Making this the default at this intersection would also impact the behaviour positively. It is not the be all, end all solution at this location however.
        4. The wide swath of sidewalk is currently a kind of “shared space” that works well at this location. Making the area shared use would require little physical change and would formalise the behaviour of the cyclists. A fun idea, but it is important to maintain a design standard and throwing a mixed use area into the well-functioning infrastructure design tradition may not be a good, permanent solution.


        12 March 2015

        New Bicycle Bridge - Cirkelbroen - Is Coming

        Circle Bridge / Cirkelbroen - Bicycle & Pedestrian Bridge in Copenhagen
        This is exactly what you like to see on a spring morning in brilliant sunshine in Copenhagen. Yet another bicycle/pedestrian bridge being put into place on Copenhagen Harbour. The Circle Bridge - Cirkelbroen in Danish - is designed by Danish artist Olafur Eliasson and will fix a minor glitch in the mobility network in Copenhagen.


        This beautiful but modest bridge will connect Christiansbro and Applebys Square. A subtle, but important link in making the entire harbourfront walkable and bikeable. On the above map you can see the new and coming bicycle bridges in this section of the harbour. Yes, pedestrians use them, too, but in Copenhagen they are referred to as bicycle bridges first and foremost.


        The bridge is a gift to the City of Copenhagen from the Nordea Foundation (they're a bank) and it is 32 metres long. For a budget of 34 million kroner ($4.8 million) you get an artistic bridge designed by a famous artist. Interestingly, the entire Bicycle Snake had about the same budget.

        Sorte Diamant
        Here's a view from the Black Diamond / Sorte Diamant on the opposite side of the harbour. You can what the mouth of the canal looks like without the bridge.

        But hey, it's a gift so who cares. The form of the bridge is rounded, with no straight line from shore to shore. Normally, the design of a bridge for bicycles involves a straight line. The artistic licence on this bridge creates an aesthetic obstacle course. At this location, it is not a problem. This is not a major bicycle route, nor will it ever be. The main focus in on the recreational use of the harbourfront and creating access. So an exception is totally permissable.


        Olafur talks about his creative thoughts in this YouTube video, in Danish. The masts reflect the masts of the many ships in Christianshavn Canal. The bridge is a swing bridge, to allow access from the harbour to the canal and vice versa. The many canal tour boats plying their tourist trade will just scoot underneath.

        Circle Bridge / Cirkelbroen - Bicycle & Pedestrian Bridge in Copenhagen
        The bridge was originally meant to be finished in 2012 but the same malady struck it as struck the Innner Harbour Bridge farther east. The company who was building them went bankrupt and things rolled to a halt. The locals in this area of Christianshavn are among the whiniest and least willing to see Copenhagen change, so there was also a delay as some of them tried their case against the bridge in the courts. All water under the bridge now.


        Circle Bridge / Cirkelbroen - Bicycle & Pedestrian Bridge in Copenhagen
        Today, work is underway. The components are constructed and are being set into place. Spring is upon us. A new bridge is blossoming. Copenhagen just got a little bit cooler.

        04 March 2015

        The Copenhagenize Current - Stormwater Management and Cycle Tracks


        Cloudburst in Copenhagen. July 4, 2011. Photo via DJ Ladze on Flickr. With permission.

        Climate change challenges are clearly defined in Copenhagen and in Denmark. 1000 km of dikes protect many parts of the country from the sea, but the new threat is the water from within and from above. Our fate has become being inundated with torrential rain that floods entire neighbourhoods. The existing sewer system is completely inadequate to tackle the volume of water from cloudbursts.

        It is something that is a reality for us living in Copenhagen and in many Danish cities and there is a great deal of political focus on it. Just have a look at this bad boy pdf featuring Copenhagen's Climate Adaptation Plan.



        There are already many ideas and intiatives on the table in Copenhagen. Much is said and written about creating "Cloudburst Streets", like the one, above. Creating green space that becomes "blue" during cloudbursts and acts as a stormwater delay. Other streets may get a green strip down one side with the same effect.

        Fantastic. An excellent excuse to greenify many areas of the city and a perfect way to avoid complaining about removing parking spots and whatnot from last-century minds.

        Greenification of streets and creating reservoirs for overflow of rainwater are fantastic additions to the urban landscape. Exploiting the need for water runoff solutions to create more green space in cities is brilliant. Not every street in Copenhagen, however, has the space to accommodate wide, green reservoirs or green channels. What of the many other streets?

        Urban space is affected greatly by the new climate reality in Danish cities. It is, however, urban space that can help solve the problem we face.

        Which is why we are developing The Copenhagenize Current.


        Like many ideas, it starts with personal experience. That's me, on the left, on Istedgade in the Vesterbro neighbourhood, during a cloudburst that flooded the whole 'hood. Farther down the street, there were people kayaking. Like many great ideas, it starts in the bathroom of a bar on a Saturday night. We had been discussing climate adaptation in the office at Copenhagenize Design Company. Standing there one night, I considered the existing, traditional system, attached to the wall and then noticed how space on the floor was being used for "excess water runoff" in case of spray or bad aim. A supplementary system that also assists during mopping and general cleaning.

        Couldn't that simple idea be applied to streets? Including my own, where the businesses in the cellar were flooded beyond repair in 2011? What about using existing urban space to design a stormwater runoff system.


        Like any good idea spawned in a nocturnal bathroom, you get your kids to help with a Lego model. We have existing space. Copenhagen's comprehensive network of cycle tracks on main streets are there and they're not going anywhere - thank goodness. Real estate that is in use and integral to city life. Bicycles, however, are lightweight vehicles that cause little wear and tear on the infrastructure. Therefore, I thought quite simply, why not create high-volume rainwater trenches underneath the cycle tracks?

        That is what The Copenhagenize Current is all about. Using existing space for rainwater managment in extreme weather conditions and, while we’re at it, improving infrastruture for the city’s cyclists.


        In a nutshell, The Copenhagenize Current involves digging trenches under existing cycle tracks, implementing precast, concrete containers and covering them with pre-fab, concrete slabs. It is a basic cut and cover operation. On streets without adequate space for wide medians that can be dug out and act as reservoirs for stormwater, the Copenhagenize Current can act as an incredibly efficient, high-volume system to expedite the drainage of streets and lead water away from vulnerable areas. Copenhagenize Design Co.s architect Steve Montebello has worked on the designs and calculations.

        We have designed the Copenhagenize Current to lead high-volumes of water through vulnerable neighbourhoods. The Cities of Copenhagen and Frederiksberg have been discussing dredging one of the Lakes - Saint J?rgen's Lake - and lead stormwater to it from surrounding areas so it can act as a temporary reservoir.

        This is what it might look like, complete with redesigned lakefront. The Copenhagenize Current can be used to lead water to such a lake reservoir solution.


        Using pre-fabricated concrete slabs that can bear the weight of thousands of bicycles - and still allow for crossing motor vehicles at intersectionss - allows for implementation of a number of other features. LED lights can be built into the slabs to further visibility of the cycle track. In addition, heating coils can be embedded in the surface, under the final layer of asphalt, to melt snow and ice during the winter.

        Having pre-fab slabs will also provide a smoother ride for cyclists, minimise the risk of potholes and make maintenence of the cycle tracks easier. So much goodness.


        The design allows for a maximum amount of drainage grates so that all water at every point can easily fill into the concrete trenches. Grates on the surface will serve to drain water coming from the sidewalk onto the Current. The Current can also work independently of the existing sewer system or together with it, depending on need.


        The water flow routes in Copenhagen. Most lead towards the harbour or the sea.

        Added Value
        Apart from the obvious benefits of the Current, namely the fast removal of stormwater from streets and protecting surrounding neighbourhoods and buildings from flooding, there are points that provide an added value to our design.

        Improved Accessibility to Cables
        Most cables related to urban life are buried beneath sidewalks and, to a lesser extent, roads. We have considered the idea of creating cable trays on the wall of the concrete trenches to provide easy access to certain types of cables.

        Inspiration for Improvement
        The design serves an important purpose - stormwater protection for cities. The design can also encourage municipalities that are reluctant about widening existing bicycle infrastructure on certain streets to finally do so by implementing the Current. Gammel Kongevej, with the narrowest cycle tracks in the capital, springs to mind.

        Cost-Benefit
        Maintenance costs on cycle tracks will fall due to the reduced need for repairing potholes. Better infrastructure encourages cycling, as well. The pre-fab slabs are easily replaced on an individual basis if need be.

        Stormwater Fountain
        We would love to see the Current end in a pipe that leads under Skt J?rgens Lake or in the harbour. The mouth of the pipe positioned above the surface. During a stormwater surge, the force of the water rushing to the destination will create a fountain. A spray of water - that can be designed - that will celebrate the rain - and the human solutions for tackling it.

        Silvacells

        Accommodation can be made for pipes leading off of the Current onto side streets or into parks where silva cells under trees and/or vegetation are located.



        When the climate - or rather humans - throws you a curve ball, you have to think out of the box. Especially when your box is quickly filling up with water.



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