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Copenhagen's the Big Wheel of bicycle cities

Many cities think of themselves as bicycle-friendly, but most would agree that Amsterdam and Copenhagen are in the top rank, although each claims to be more bike-friendly than the other. The latest every-two-year study says it's Copenhagen's time to brag, although Amsterdam came out on top the previous two times.


The study and list come from Copenhagenize (suspicious name, no?), a consultant firm that advises cities worldwide on bicycle-friendly urban design. The cities are ranked by 13 categories that include percentage of travel by bicycle, number of riders, infrastructure, biking culture, public and political support for biking and more.


Copenhagen got a big leg up this time because from 2012 to 2014 the percent of city travel that was by bike rose from 36% to 45%, helped by opening of three new cycle bridges with more coming. The city and its suburbs have also created bicycle highways to encourage more bicycle commuters. On the other hand, the consultants called for the city to end, not extend, its under-used bike share program.


Besides Amsterdam, the other top cities in the list are Utrecht, Netherlands; Strasbourg, France; Eindhoven, Netherlands; Malmo, Sweden; Nantes and Bordeaux, France; Antwerp, Belgium and Seville, Spain. Only two North American cities made it to the top 20, Minneapolis at 18 and Montreal at 20.


Photo: Bicycle parking at Copenhagen's Osterport commuter rail station. MORE

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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