The 1st of October – it happened! What many citizens of Copenhagen have been looking forward to. The day when they shut down one of the most busy streets for cars, Norrebrogade, Copenhagen N. The street is one of the main thoroughfares of the capital – and it will be permanently closed for three months.
North from the center – it takes you ten minutes by bicycle to get there – the, for few days ago, most busy and dangerous street of Copenhagen. It has been a fight for years, but now it is about to turn. Copenhagen is getting more green, and more pedestrianfriendly for each day – and now more than 50% of the people are using their bike to work/school each day. But some of the streets are to dangerous, and it is to little space for the cyclists. That is why they are trying this out on Norrebrogade. They will improve bus and bicycle traffic – and normally it is around 17000 private cars, 33000 cyclists and 65000 bus passangers each day. The municipality of Copenhagen hopes that this will remove 40%-50% of the private cars.
Some problems will occure – the residents will “only” have the possibility to park near their house – the shops can only get their delieveries in pointed depots – some of the other streets around will have a problem with more traffic – some streets that today works as small shoppingstreets, with great possibilities for pedestrians. Of course this is a annoying experiment for someone – but I think people should think about it twice, give it a chance – and see that the noice, and the air – will be better than ever – people can easier go around from shop to shop accross the strett – more comfortable to have a snack by the corner of the coffeshop – I think this will be a success! I just think that this is the beginning for a city without private car-traffic in the most important streets of Copenhagen, and make Copenhagen a city with more healthy environment – and more healthy citizens!
I will keep you updated on this case – I think it is very interresting to see how this will work out – and also what the citizens say in three months – and what the problems and the successes are!
It seems like there is no one, that will go in a discussion about the street either should be wider, so this is the best solution. I think, we have torn down the houses in Norrebro, that we will tear down. – Klaus Bondam – thecnic-and environmentmayor in Copenhagen, (R)
For more information – check out the newspaper Politiken