Denmark Loves Bicycles
Denmark is one of the most bicycle-friendly countries in the world. Roughly 40 percent of the people in its capital, Copenhagen, commute to school or work by bicycle.
Why are bikes so popular in Denmark? First of all, the government is worried about pollution. Cars pollute the air, and the number of cars is growing. Denmark has a very high tax on cars because the government wants more people to ride bikes instead.
Another reason for the popularity of bicycles is that Denmark is a very flat country. The highest place in the country is only 557 feet (170 m), so it is a very easy place to ride a bike. In Copenhagen, there are also special lanes just for cyclists. Cars must stop when a bike is crossing the road. Some places have special traffic lights to tell drivers that bikes are going to cross the road.
About 20 percent of people in nearby towns commute to Copenhagen on their bikes. But Denmark wants to double this number. The government is planning to build bicycle “superhighways.” These roads will only be for cyclists. Cyclists will have special places on these highways to stop and rest or put air in their tires.
Denmark is also making traffic lights friendlier for cyclists. Most people ride their bikes at about 8 mph (20 km/h). On the bicycle superhighways, people going this speed will only see green traffic lights. They won’t have to stop for a red light.
With these bicycle superhighways, Copenhagen may become the most bicycle-friendly city in the world. Many other cities, such as New York, London, and Guangzhou, China, are thinking about copying its plans. In fact, there is a new word for making a city more bicycle-friendly: “Copenhagenization.” (Word Count: 294)
Read the sentences below and check (√) True or False.
- Bicycles are more popular in Denmark than in many other countries.
- The government of Denmark wants more people to commute by bicycle.
- In Denmark, it is expensive to have a car.
- It’s dangerous to ride a bicycle in Denmark because of the cars.
- In Denmark, drivers must stop for bicycles.
- Both cars and bicycles can use the superhighways in Denmark.
- The superhighways will make it easier and faster to commute by bicycle.
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