While the U.S. has built more three-car garages than one-bedroom apartments in the last 20 years, Denmark continues to prioritize biking over driving. Over the last two decades, Copenhagen’s bike traffic has increased by 68 percent. This year, bikes in the Danish capital outnumbered cars for the first time.
A set of 20 sensors placed throughout Copenhagen has been systematically counting the city’s bikes, which number some 265,700, compared to 252,600 cars.
Starting in 2005, Denmark’s government has shelled out roughly $143 million to promote biking in the city. The money’s gone toward better bike infrastructure like fancy bike bridges. And it’s getting results. Cycling has been steadily increasing in popularity in the city—with a 15 percent jump over the past year—while car traffic continues to fall.
“Cycling went from being a normal part of daily life to a core identity for the city,” said Klaus Bondam in an interview with The Guardian.
But Copenhagen wants to push it even further, aiming for half of all commutes to be by bike by 2025. They’re about 9 percent of commuters away from making that ambition a reality.