More Bicycle Traffic Makes Roads Safer

European city ranking: Oslo, Copenhagen, and Zurich have some of the cleanest air

bicycle trips
  • News 04.06.2018

The new study "Living. Moving. Breathing. Ranking of European Cities in Sustainable Transport" shows that more cyclists and pedestrians can make cities safer. The ranking, compiled by the Wuppertal Institute and funded by Greenpeace, compared 13 metropolises in terms of public transport, road safety, air quality, mobility management, and the proportion of cyclists and pedestrians. The result: Amsterdam and Copenhagen, residents travel about a third of their trips by bicycle, and these cities have the fewest bicycle accidents.
Less than 1 accident is reported for every 1 million bicycle trips in Copenhagen and in Amsterdam there are about 1.2 accidents. In both cities over one-third of the trips are done by a bicycle. In Berlin, the share is just under 13 per cent and with a high frequency of accidents. Berlin has about 14.3 accidents reported every 1 million cycling trips, the share is under 1 in Copenhagen and is 1.2 accidents in Amsterdam. Of the cities analysed London has the highest share with 22.3 accidents every 1 million bicycle trips preceded by Brussels with 21.4 accidents every 1 million bicycle trips.

The infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists is well developed in Copenhagen and Amsterdam. Bicycle comfort and safety is a priority while designing streets and it can be seen in the physically segregated infrastructure for cycling in Amsterdam and Copenhagen. "Our study shows that there is a close connection between poorly developed public transport network and air quality," says Santhosh Kodukula, project Co-ordinator in the Research Unit Mobility and International Cooperation at the Wuppertal Institute’s Division Energy, Transport and Climate Policy.
In terms of air quality, Oslo, Copenhagen, and Zurich are among the best. London (rank 11), Budapest and Paris in particular have high levels of air pollution. "Air quality can be improved through promoting public transport and active mobility (walking and cycling), and discouraging internal combustion engines through fiscal and policy disincentives," adds Santhosh Kodukula.
The European Commission is currently taking legal action against the national governments of these cities for failing to enforce air quality standards. Six countries of the European Union have been referred to the European Court of Justice.

Further information and the complete study can be found in the following link.