Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36BikeLife Boulder | 3 It is also lauded as a model city for transporta- tion, and many attribute outstanding Scandina- vian design and centuries-old cultural traditions to the Danish propensity to cycle. But history paints a different picture, and few know the re- markable story of how the city has evolved. With just over two million people in its met- ro area, greater Copenhagen has about the same population as greater Columbus, Ohio. And 45 years ago, its problems would have been famil- iar to many U.S. cities: it was an industrial port town, with plenty of history but little interna- tional reputation to speak of. Assuming (like most every city) that cars were the way of the future, Copenhagen had torn out its historic streetcar system to make room. Parking, too, had become scarce, so the city dedicated large amounts of its streets and historic plazas to stor- ing and moving cars. From 1945 to 1970, bicycling rates in Copen- hagen plummeted. The city crowded with cars. The auto-oriented streets encouraged speeding; in 1971, 24 out of every 100,000 Danes died in traffic, about the same as the 25 in the United States. Then the 1973 oil crisis hit Denmark hard. On Sundays, to conserve fuel, the government blocked all auto use. People hauled out their bicycles to get around instead — and, gradual- ly, Copenhageners started to wonder whether bicycling could be a tool of modern urban life alongside the car. So (like many cities around that time, includ- ing parts of the United States) they started cre- ating bike lanes. But, instead of just painting striped lanes on some streets, Copenhagen fol- lowed an example set by the Netherlands, and H ike every city, Copenhagen has plenty of problems. But like every successful city, Copenhagen has found that solving problems requires making choices. Today, many people around the world know Copenhagen as a city worth learning from: it’s one of the world’s safest, greenest, most prosperous and most egalitarian. L “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” -STEVE JOBS People for Bikes Martha Roskowski Copenhagen SEATTLE NAT F2016 SWFIN.indd 3 11/29/16 8:09 AM