By Eva Korte
Copenhagen’s ambition to be the ‘city of cyclists’ and the world`s number one bike-city by 2015 is resulting in some interesting new inventions.
The ‘bicycling secretariat’ of Copenhagen’s technical and environmental department (TMF) is going out of its way to make cycling as comfortable as possible, starting with placing footrests for bicyclists at selected traffic intersections.
The footrests are printed with encouraging statements, such as “Hello, cyclist! Take a breather,” and “Thank you for cycling!”
The pilot project began earlier this year with five footrests, but according to the secretariat it has been so popular that the city now plans to install 20 more at a cost of 187,000 kroner.
"Cyclists think it's really great to be able to rest their foot when they are stopped at red lights at major intersections,” Copenhagen’s deputy mayor for TMF, Ayfer Baykal told Politiken newspaper. “So the way I see it, it’s evidently a good idea to put up more and make it easier to be a cyclist in Copenhagen."
However, reactions on Politiken’s website were not as supportive of the newest bicycling comfort. Many said they would like to see the city’s revenues used for more important causes, particularly in financially critical times.
“A foolish spin project. One thing is for sure – it was not thought up by a cyclist,” Simon Bang from Østerbro wrote. “It was thought up by an administration that doesn’t have contact with the city-life they are managing.”
“Use the money to patch the holes I pass on my way to work instead. I am sure most of the others will approve,” Jesper K. Vanløse suggested.
A Frederiksberg resident named Julie liked the idea, but not the price tag.
“I think the footrests are a good invention,” she wrote. “But I didn’t know they were so expensive, and I go along with the proposal to pay for them with advertisements, instead of spending municipal money on them.”
According to TMF, the city plans to roll out other bicycle-friendly projects including tilted garbage cans especially designed so that cyclists can toss out their rubbish without getting off their bicycles.
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