The whole thing starts with the opinion - part I - and follows with four parts originally intended to be sidebars/boxouts with the original text. In part I have added some clarifications or emphasized certain things [in brackets] based on the original text. - Todd Edelman, Slow Factory.
As I walked in Copenhagen one night in December 2009, I joked with my companions that portraying it as a leading cycling city was so important to the mayor that he would pay cyclists to ride around so there were always bicycles on the streets [or even show a live CCTV video with computer-generated cyclists added].
- Bad infrastructure — as described
- Antisocial behaviour — some cyclists and pedestrians react badly because they are at the bottom of the pile due to poor street design. It is also a reflection of Berlin itself: people here respond in different ways to the freedoms they enjoy when compared with the social disciplines expected elsewhere.
- Sharp sticks but soft carrots — cyclists who misbehave can be fined, but enforcement is patchy. Most of the time these riders are ignored by the police, and other street users rarely speak out. There is no encouragement to behave better.
- Lack of training — few Germans over the age of 50 have had any cycle training in school. Likewise, many immigrants have little experience of cycling in cities.
In the coming days I will upload the intended boxouts/sidebars which further detail my arguments herein. Please join, follow or otherwise watch this space.... and have a safe and truly representative holiday!