Copenhagen’s unwanted bikes are getting a little loving care these days, by way of a tender oiling and some fresh air in their tires: All part of the local city council’s service as the world’s best bike city.
The service is currently on trial at five Metro stations in the city, where dumped cycles are becoming more than just eyesores; those that are parked outside the designated racks block fire and emergency exits and are thus potentially very dangerous. After years of attempting unsuccessfully to goad owners into moving them with fines and negative campaign strategies, the council has now resorted to untraditionally polite methods to get their point across. Along with a little note to let owners know their bike has now been moved to the bike rack, a freshly-oiled chain and pumped-up tires is all part of the service.
More than a third of all Copenhageners cycle to work or study every day, covering a total area of 1.2 million kilometers daily, and bikes have long been an important part of the city’s identity. Earlier this year, Copenhagen was voted “world’s best bike city” by environmental website treehugger.com, a title the city council is taking very seriously: Other bike-positive city initiatives include improving the city’s many cycle paths and closing busy thoroughfare Nørrebrogade to cars, where cycles outnumber car traffic twofold.
Photo courtesy of Copenhagen Media Center.