Bikes outnumbered cars in Denmark’s capital of Copenhagen for the first time in 2016 – a huge win for the environment. But all those bikes have led to two-wheel traffic jams that needed fixing. So the city has come up with an innovative solution: electronic information panels that help cyclists chose a clearer route.
265,700 bicycles enter Copenhagen daily, as opposed to 252,600 cars. So the city is planning to set up five electronic panels at strategic points, according to state broadcaster Danmarks Radio. Copenhagen has a 240-mile bike lane network. The five screens could help cyclists reroute to reduce bike congestion. The capital’s city hall is calling this move the first of its kind in the world.
Related: Copenhagen now has more bikes than cars
Head of Copenhagen’s technology and environment department Morten Kabell said, “There’s a need for improved accessibility for the growing number of cyclists who unfortunately in many places are now having to fight for space on the bike lane. We’re hoping with these new information boards to give cyclists the opportunity to choose the least congested route through the city.”
The electronic panels will cost around $633,494. They’ll offer information on special events, roadwork, slow-moving traffic, and the distance to destinations. They’ll also highlight alternative routes.
The screens aren’t the only way Copenhagen is looking to slash bike congestion. They’ll improve infrastructure by widening lanes already in place, improving intersection signaling, and constructing more bike-only bridges (the city currently has 17). They already have a route-planning app, ibikecph, which recently saw an update from the city on quieter, greener routes.
41 percent of people in Copenhagen bike to and from school or work. They racked up nearly 870,000 miles a day by bike in 2016. Over the past 20 years, bike traffic has increased by 68 percent in the capital. And if forecasts are correct, daily bike traffic across the city could increase by 25 percent by 2025.
Via The Guardian