A bicycle accounts may sound terribly dull, but one shouldn’t be fooled by that. In here, you can read about the importance of cycling for the city and its inhabitants. The city’s transportation systems are planned on the basis of socio-economic calculations about what is ‘best’ for the city. It goes without saying that socio-economic models are usually lacking a valuation of the qualities cycling as a sustainable mobility form provides the city and its inhabitants.
Until recently, calculations of what investments in cycling means for the economy were scarce. With the new bike accounts, the City of Copenhagen has changed that in order to quantify the significance of cycling and walkways, new cycle paths and conversions of traffic lights.
And the conclusion is clear: The investments are very sound and has similar or better returns than present construction projects such as the enlargement of the motorway around Roskilde or upgrading of the railway between Copenhagen and Ringsted.
The Technical and Environmental Mayor of Copenhagen, Klaus Bondam, welcomes the initiative and the results: “Now dry figures show clearly that all the biking Copenhageners have significance in relation to the national bottom line. The bicycle is by far the most preferred means of transport in Copenhagen. That is a huge plus for the city. Therefore, it is imperative that we meet the needs of cyclists when investing in tomorrow’s Copenhagen.”
Thus, it is possible to appreciate in numbers the Copenhagen bike habits:
• When a person chooses to cycle, society has a net gain of 0.16 Euros per kilometre cycled. Contrary, society has a net loss of 0.1 Euros per kilometre travelled by car.
• The socio-economic benefits on health and life from cycling are seven times higher than accident costs.
• The cost of a bikes purchase and maintenance is 0.05 Euro cents per kilometre.
All the benefits of cycling for city life and its inhabitants cannot take up space in this blog. But talking about cycling in relation to health seems a good place to start. In recent years, increasing attention has been given to the significance for overall health when getting daily exercise from using cycling as a means of transport.
• Adults who cycles to work or use the bike everyday has a 30% lower mortality than others with similar living conditions and health.
• Children who cycle to school have nearly 10% better fitness than classmates who walk or are transported in cars.
The Copenhagen bicycle accounts gives you all the good arguments for why Copenhagen should be a city which is not planned on the premises of the car.