Before I begin, if you don´t live in Denmark or the Netherlands, you may feel that if only your city was as welcoming to bikes. On the other hand, if you live en many Southern European cities, where the municipality has had enough reason to conclude, that cars ruin the old city center, and have virtually banned cars inside the old city walls, you may not be so envious.
30 times as much space is allocated for car parking, compared to bike parking.
- 99% of traffic lights are planned for car traffic. How many lights in crossings would we need at all, if it was not for cars. When people frown upon pedestrians or cyclists, who decide to ignore a red, they often forget, the light is there because of cars, not to regulate pedestrians or bikes.
- In not one place do a bike path have right of way, when crossing or being crossed by car traffic, in 100% of all instances cars have right of way.
- To avoid cars killing bikes when turning left, the city hast started to make an extra traffic light for bicyclists, so we have to wait for red, while cars turn right, then we can proceed ten feet to the next light where we can wait again at red, before we can resume following the main road.
- In most cases bike lanes stops 50 feet before a traffic light, to make room for a right-turn lane for cars, a clear policy of the Copenhagen Police to prioritize car mobility and flow of traffic over bicyclist safety.
- Cars turning right are supposed to block the way of bicycles going straight or turning left. This means when the light changes the cars wait for the zebra crossing to clear for pedestrians, then the cars turning right will go, and only then is the road free for biccyles going straight across the light.
- In the Road Authority manuals on designing roads, cyclists are all but non-existent. Roads in Denmark are still designed out of a cars-speed-&-capacity paradigm only, sidewalks are always included from the then later in the planning process or after building the road, bike lanes are added.
- When speed limits are set, the principle is the speed of which 85% of cars will travel by, had there been no speed limit. One might in stead expect primary use of a lethal weapon such as a car, to be considered after evaluating the soft traffic in the street, is it residential, is it primarily children families, is it a school or merchant street or a public transportation hub, what is the total use of the area, what is the intention rather than a car centric evaluation.
- Recently the city council voted to increase investments in parking further, as their analyses showed a lack of parking spaces in residential areas in the Inner city (Østerbro), which is correct if you do not include paid parking. The city assume its services to include whatever volume of free parking, the residents demand.
- Investments in car parking only since 2005 in Copenhagen, exceeds all investments related to bike infrastructure by a factor of 4!
I think much of the reason cyclists tend to break some of the rules in traffic, is that we are the majority group, we are legion, but we are treated as a minority, which the city try to make room for, try!