Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Comparing Barcelona and Copenhaguen

In October 2009 I went to visit D. in Copenhaguen for 10 days. For a couple of Catalan ciclysts, it was completely astonishing. One of the most remarkable things for us was the huge amount of parked bikes on the streets, in contrast to what you can see in Barcelona. 

Here the Copenhaguen situation:

(All these bikes, not secured, would be stolen in a few hours in Barcelona. That's the reason why in Barcelona there are literally thousands of Brompton bicycles)

And here the "same" situation in Gràcia district (town) in Barcelona city:

This shows that the main private transportation mean is the bicycle in Copenhaguen and the motorbike in Barcelona. Gràcia is, probably, the most extreme case in the city: frequently it is difficult to use sidewalks due to the huge amount of motorbikes. Indeed, Barcelona is one of the European cities with more motorbikes. I think I read somewhere that we are in second place after Roma, but I'm not sure (Barcelona is the 6th most populous urban area in the EU). Bicycle, on the other hand, accounts for only 2% of the transportation share in the city.

The current city council plans to promote electric motorbikes. Neither the electric bicycle nor the bicycle. Motorbikes. Things like these make me think that the third position of Barcelona in the Copenhaguenize Index is simply wrong (bad criteria). I'll try to show it in this blog in the future with more examples.

Have a nice Barcelona. And remember, don't buy any Mexican hat here as a souvenir. We are Catalans, not Mexicans ;-)