Saturday, January 23, 2010
OK I admit my title has been shamelessly influenced by the use of the "Anthony & Cleopatra" quotation in "The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society" - but it's how I feel - I don't want to leave Copenhagen and when I do I know I am going to feel that I have been to "heaven and back".
Nothing in Australia is going to match the cycling experiences we have had here in Copenhagen. By allowing the helmet manufacturers and marketers the stranglehold on our culture that they have, we have been robbed of the true cyclcing infrastructure that really matters - in fact the true cycling infrastructure that would have made a beneficial difference to our lives.
The bicycle organisations in Australia are kidding themselves (and us) if they bleat otherwise, and as the 'school prefects' of the Mandatory Helmet Law School, they have been poor advocates for us, perhaps enjoying too many cups of tea & too many buttered crumpets in the headmaster's parlour.
If I was in charge of Australia (!), I would provide:
1. Bicycle traffic lights
2. Bicycle train carriages
3. Bicycle parking for commuting & travelling
4. Bicycle parking for shopping
5. Bicycle parking with extra security
...naturally I would provide proper bicycle lanes too, you know the ones that don't disappear or finish in the middle of nowhere, and I would see to it that we had buses that loved bicycles, and of course every car would have bicycle racks too!...
...but in the meantime, hej, København, thank you for everything, thanks for the proof that cities can work seamlessly with hundreds of bicycles and pedestrians - we have been inspired and we will be back!