This rendering of how bicycling in Miami could take off like it has in Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and even to a lesser degree in D.C. is simple and simply brilliant. Mikael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagenize has been brought to Miami by architect Bernard Zyscovich and the Knight Foundation to discuss ways to increase bike ridership. The brilliance is that people stuck in their cars below could be inspired to try a better, healthier, cleaner, cheaper, and possibly faster way around the flat, weather-perfect city.
The key in most cities where the bike has been embraced as transportation, Colville-Andersen said: On-street bike lanes separated from motorized traffic, by a curb, a slight pavement elevation or other barriers, and connected in a network that takes people places they need to go, safely and conveniently.
If you build it, he said, cyclists will come out of the woodwork because of pent-up demand, as they have in city after city that’s taken the plunge.
And you’ll know you’re successful when even women in skirts and spike heels (and no helmets) feel comfortable cycling around town, as they do by the thousands in Copenhagen, where 56 percent of all residents get on a bike every day. Colville-Andersen should know, having established his early fame with Copenhagen Cycle Chic, a spectacularly successful blog that compiles candid photos of stylishly attired women pedaling sturdy Danish bikes.
The point, besides enticing street fashionistas who have made a favorite of the blog, is to show that riding a bike is not just for determined recreational cyclists in special clothes, but for everyone, every day, he said.
“It’s not that we’re purer in Denmark than you are,” Colville-Andersen said. “It’s just the simplest and fastest way to get around.”
“Now we’re seeing the conversation change in North America. In every city that’s moving on the cycling front, it’s because of strong political will,” he said. “It’s the cities that are going all in where it’s working.”