creating safe public transport through design [symposium 7]

mar 20 09

if i had to pick my absolute favorite thing about denmark, it just might be the 10-centimeter rule.

the 10-centimeter rule refers to the height difference between the car lane, bicycle lane, and pedestrian sidewalk on any given street.  it makes all parties feel safe in their respective arenas, yet it doesnt not alienate.  it is so simple, yet so brilliant, so thoughtful, and crucial to the success of copenhagen as one of the best cycling cities in the world.

10 cm rule

i am afraid that i am being so spoiled here by these lanes that biking back in the US will never be the same again.

a snapshot of my daily journeys to school this semester:

on a typical morning in February:

rush out of bed, run to 6A bus stop at the top of the stairs of Keops Kollegiet.
realize that i forgot my metro pass — run back downstairs to my room to grab it.
watch as the 6A bus pulls away, while the 0 is replaced with a 4 on the bus information totem.
wait 4 minutes, finally board bus.
stand and stop/go/jolt all the way down Tagensvej to Norreport Station to Stroget while bikes continually pass by.
arrive 10 minutes late for class.

on a typical day in April:

rise and shine, grab my bag and go to bike racks at bottom of kollegium.
unlock bike, climb on and ride down Norrebrogade — one of the busiest streets during the day, but nice bicycle-friendly calibrated traffic lights.
realize that i am going faster than the 5A bus driving parallel to me. (smile)
pop into Skt Peters Bakery for a cinnamon snail.
arrive 5 minutes early for class.



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