As the dangers cyclists face in the cities is being increasingly highlighted it is important that the solution is not just building exclusive cycling infrastructure but a general holistic green infrastructure creating a network at the top of the urban movement hierarchy providing walking and cycling anywhere.
This includes close links to public transport hubs, schools, creches, public spaces, parks and residential neighbourhoods building an environment where pedestrians, cyclists and the urban environment is segregated and secure from the cars.
The Copenhagen municipality of Gladsaxe has since 1986 invested heavily in safe cycling infrastructure, this has in spite of a rising number of cyclists lead to a drop in personal cycling injuries of 94 %, saving them €70 mio in health care expenses over the last 20 years.
For an area with 70000 inhabitants this is a considerable saving - adding the savings on general healthcare through the better health and fitness of the users these numbers would be multiplied many times over again.
New infrastructure builds are always costly and takes time, but compared to building motorways and ring roads trying to relieve congested cities there is no cheaper way to do it than through investing in green infrastructure.
It is time to hand the streets back to the people.
Source: Cyklistforbundet.dk - Cykelstier og trafiksaneringer sparer Gladsaxe Kommune for en halv milliard - Ivan Christensen, Gladsaxe Kommune.