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The Top 10 Cities For Cycling 2019 | What Makes A City Bike Friendly?

The Top 10 Cities For Cycling 2019 | What Makes A City Bike Friendly?

(upbeat intro music) – It’s that time in the
biennial cycle again where
announce their winners and losers in the world
of city cycling provisions and there are quite a few
surprises this time round. Before we get going though, please give this video a big thumbs up and if you haven’t already done
so, subscribe to the channel. Now once every two years, take time out from
their day to day work of planning, design and analysis
of city infrastructure to provide an index of how
cities across the world score based on a wide variety
of parameters for cycling, 14 of them to be exact. We’re now onto the fifth
release of their index with the first one coming
way back out in 2011. So we thought now would be a good time to update you with the new top 10. Just before we start
with the top 10 though, I do feel an honorable
mention should go to Bogota in 12th place. Will we see a dramatic rise in investment to the city after the
phenom of Egan Bernal at this year’s Tour De France? Ciclovia, which is a weekly activity where hundreds of city roads
are closed to vehicles, is cited for their dramatic
rise into the top 20. The goal for the city
is for all residents to have a bike lane within 500
meters of their front door. First up then, in 10th place with a score of 59% is Helsinki,
and it’s a huge jump up from 18th the year before. They now boast three and a
half thousand share bikes across the city. Helsinki have their sights set on becoming the world’s best metropolis for sustainable transport,
which, considering just how regularly they
have heavy snowfall each winter, is a commendable goal. They currently have 1300
kilometers of cycling provisions in place, and
they’re aiming to have a total of 160 kilometers of uninterrupted cycle highways built. Although right now, they do only have 20. But, it’s a clear sign of
their intent for the future. In at number nine and
climbing rapidly since 2015, is Vienna, with 60.7% on the index. Recent initiatives including the hashtag, why don’t you cycle,
have really helped boost the popularity of cycle
use across the town. 300 cargo bikes have even been purchased via a subsidy scheme for local businesses. Cargo bikes have long
been popular in Vienna as they’ve been free to rent for locals who wish to use them
for heavier deliveries than could be carried on a regular bike. How does 5,000 bike
parking spaces built over the last two years sound? In at number eight is Paris. Since 2011, Paris has suffered a little in comparison to other
members of this top ten club. They are now two places
behind their previous best of sixth. However, they are a lot higher than their worst position of 19th. The score this time round is 61.6% which shows two things, just how much other cities are working
for their cycle provisions, meaning anyone that doesn’t continue to develop their infrastructure
will be left behind, it also shows that if you
do commit to a scheme, you can quickly turn these results around. Paris currently has over 14,500 hire bikes in their network used by
150,000 members of the service. But, there is work to do. Currently only 5% of all journeys are currently completed by bike, which is a far cry from
their 2020 goal of 15%. In at number seven, and
the rising star award goes to Oslo. Last time around, they made 19th spot, and they have seriously climbed this time. 62.5% on the leaderboard or on the index. For hilly, wintery cities,
Oslo is a leading force proving that terrain and
weather should not be excuses for avoiding
sustainable transport. Cars have been banned
from the city center, the center one point
three square kilometers and 1,000 car parking
spots have been removed. Again, like Vienna, subsidies are in place for people to purchase cargo bikes and secure bike parking
has been invested in too. The Sykkel Hotell,
that’s what it’s called. And if you were worried
about riding in the winter, 400 of their hire bikes
from their share scheme come with studded tires. At number six, 68.8% of
the score on the index goes to Bordeaux in sixth place. Despite only 35 kilometers
of dedicated cycle lanes, 13% of all journeys are made by bike. There are dedicated areas of the city where vehicles are now banned, which has seen a growth of 20%
of cycle use in these areas. When you consider trams and pedestrians still use the same area, that
is an incredible statistic. To improve though, they will need more dedicated cycle tracks,
parking and hire bikes, but they have so far
held a steady position within the top 10. Fifth on the first edition,
sixth, sixth and sixth again. In at number five, and down one spot from last time is Strasbourg. They are our first entry
above 70% on the index. 16% of all residents are currently already commuting to work by bike, with many of the intercity deliveries also now dropped via a cargo bike rather than the traditional van method. The main focus of the city
is to remove vehicles, introducing a safer
environment for pedestrians and cyclists alike. In at number four, and already showing steady progression is Antwerp. 73.2% on the index. Now any professional cyclist that has ever raced the Antwerp zeehavenbahn will know that the main obstacle
in this Belgian city is actually negotiating the
railway and tram tracks. Now almost all joking aside,
I got another one in a minute, 33% of journeys are
made by bike in Antwerp, and the city center now
has a blanket speed limit of 30 kilometers an hour for safety. Antwerp is also home to Europe’s largest free to use car park
underneath the Kennedytunnel. This is otherwise known
as the E17 A14 motorway. That’s the joke. So perhaps it’s no surprise that they want to rid the city center of this congestion in favor of free flowing
cycle infrastructure. Into the top three now,
and it is tight at the top. Utrecht actually drops
a place down to third, but to highlight just how far ahead these top three are,
Utrecht score a whopping 88.4% on the index. Now for years, I lived outside of the city and I do know the area incredibly well, so to call cycling infrastructure in the Netherlands world class
is truly an understatement. It literally could not be easier to complete daily life chores, tasks and transport any other way. That said, times are changing. So to stay at the top, you
also need to progress as well. Smart traffic signals
that stop other traffic and go green for cyclists will honestly be life changing to how
thought free cycling is in the Netherlands. They’ve been trialed and
tested in various places and they do look set to
become more common place across the cities. Utrecht’s plans for the
future revolve around bike parking, making it
even easier for locals and visitors to access the city center. Can you imagine what central
station will look like with nigh on 33,000 bike parking slots? High up on our list, and yes I do know what I just said, is Amsterdam. Second place and scoring 89.3%, Amsterdam has never fallen
out of the top three, and if you’ve ever been there, it’s more than understandable. Amsterdam has focused on
the ability to quickly and effectively transport the sheer volume of cyclists in and out
of the city every day, nicknaming what are effectively
cycle super highways the royal routes. Mopeds are set to be
banned from cycle paths which is a big issue in
parts of Holland and Belgium. Amsterdam will also be
replacing car park spaces with bike parking spaces. Bike paths will be widened
to make the flow easier for all users and sign posting
looks set to be improved. Can they jostle back into first position next time round? Holding strong at the top
of our list is Copenhagen. 90.2% on the index, Copenhagen is for the third time in a
row, the top ranked city for cycling in the world. How about some stats for Copenhagen? 62% of their trips to school or work are now made by bike, which is phenomenal. A series of bridges have been, or are under construction across the city, shortening journey times
and taking cyclists away from traffic. 40 Euros per person is spent annually on cycling infrastructure, which ensures they remain the benchmark for all other cities to aspire towards. Five and a half meter wide bike lanes make for safer and more comfortable use for all people on bikes. Frankly, Copenhagen
know what they’re doing. So there you have it, the top 10 cities for
cycling across the world. Do you have any suggestions for any cities that you feel should
make it into the top 10, or top 20 next time round? Drop them in the comments below and for more city cycling videos, click just down there.

100 comments on “The Top 10 Cities For Cycling 2019 | What Makes A City Bike Friendly?

  1. Notice how North America didn't make the cut! Not surprising, however, since Vancouver, Canada is one of the most dangerous places to cycle in the world. In fact, city planners (or complete lack there of!) go out of their way to ensure collisions between cyclists and drivers. Want to cycle in Vancouver, Canada … make sure you have excellent medical coverage!

  2. I commuting to work for last 5 years in Denver, and last summer I have chance to visit Paris. I can tell you we have much better infrastructure here in Denver than Paris. Because main factor in report % of commuters, there is no way USA city will be on list. But I think more important infrastructure! And if it is less bikers on trails, it’s make your ride more enjoyable and safe!
    Call it most used bike city, not coolest.
    Biking in Colorado much cooler than in Paris.
    Thanks for all your videos, You doing great job

  3. Fantastic video as usual!
    Unfortunately, my city isn't bike friendly. The lack of bike lanes is worrying and too many inconsiderate drivers and motorcyclists.

  4. Bogota? Realy?……I have lived in both cities from your list, Vancouver and Bogota. If Vancouver is 18th place, Bogota should be 150th place…GCN lost a lot of credibility whit this video.

  5. The bicycle could save the human race and Planet Earth, if we just let it. Bikes use watts where cars use kilowatts. The top ten are all European cities, where bicycles are not considered "vehicles". Australia, Canada, USA, ENfgalnd and NZ all treat cyclists the same as a high-powered car or a heavy haulage truck. Europe teats them more like pedestrians, but properly as their own vehicle class.
    Note the lack of helmets in the leading cities. If we could remove our despised mandatory helmet law in Australia, we could make some progress. E-bikes have tremendous potential in Australia, to overcome distance and climate barriers, but until we can embrace utility cycling, rather than sport cycling, we will make no progress.

  6. Cant agree with Vienna on 9th place. I live here. It sucks to cycle here. I cycle to work every day, but only because i dont need to go through the city centre.

  7. If you'd like to make a "worst cycling friendly cities" add Bucharest please, the rider must know where to not go if they want to live!

  8. Meanwhile in the US, a bike lane is a 2 foot wide piece of the road, with the only separation from 7,000 pound SUVs traveling at 40mph being a tiny white line. Oh well, it's a step in the right direction

  9. LJUBLJANA, Slovenia deserves to be in the top 10 like it was in the previous years. I don't know why there're not place for Ljubljana anymore, because the infrastructure is every year getting better and better and also people are becoming more and more aware of importance of bicycles.

  10. I challenged my local council around improving cycling facilities in my town of Hartlepool, UK. Here are a couple of excerpts from the email I got in reposnse:
    "there isn’t the funding within the Council and we therefore have to seek external funding"
    "if I had a magic wand (and major capital investment!) I wouldn’t struggle to find projects to make cycling a better experience in Hartlepool. "

    There just is not the political will/investment do anything about it and that is why we never see the UK mentioned in any of these lists. It makes me sad and angry that our councils/government do not take this public health & wellbeing/transport/environmental issue seriously enough to do the right thing.

  11. Does index properly allow for city size? Most of these relatively small, which makes Paris all the more impressive (& gives LDN no excuse)
    Idea for show: city guides for some of some of these places – would be nice to know some scenic / fun bike routes through Copenhagen, etc. Take weekend city break with some not-so-cycley mates to show them what life could be like. AMS cycle lane moped ban long overdue, what about teaching cyclists to respect pedestrians? Speaking as a cyclist, attitude of Dutch cyclists used to really grate when I lived there.

  12. Beijing should be on the list too: around 2m shared bikes plus countless personal bikes. What’s more, there’s dedicated bike lanes on almost EVERY streets.

  13. I never thought I'd say this, but you definitely don't know what you are talking about. I'm from Bogotá and this is a city that TOTALLY SUCKS for cycling. The only thing that is true about this fu#@* city is: you know you leave home, but you can't know if you'll come back with the bike (stolen) of even alive (many people here is killed when robbed).

  14. Anything in the Czech Republic is far far behind the top 20… Luckly we have got here enough money for building car parks, nonstop "repairing" motorways and inviting more and more cars to the cities. What a nice scenary :-/ .

  15. I still never got this. Yeah Copenhagen might be great for a capitol city but it's not a great city to ride your bike in. other cities in Denmark are far better.

  16. Paris ? in my life I have been blown up, shot at, stabbed, ( not all by the wife ! ) but without doubt the scariest thing I have ever done is ride a bike around central Paris !

  17. If Copenhagen is on the list, Malmö should be as well. Anyway, no one is talking about how cycling looks like out of cities in these countries which is way best in the Netherlands I believe. It might be more important for cyclists than where is commuting the best by bike.

  18. Discovered last summer that Strasbourg and Grenoble France both had very good, bikeable city centers. I am a bit surprised they don't get more attention. Back in Nashville, TN…not so great.

  19. It will never be safe in UK for cycling the attitude of motorist will not change in fact it is getting no better we need more cycling clubs so we can learn to control are sport

  20. South Korea should be on the list, man!
    Cycling paths only!

  21. Nice in the south of France is the best because you can leave the city and 5 minutes later you're climbing mountains that are not matched anywhere in the UK.

  22. All of this seems like so much scifi for those cycling in the US with sprawling cities, sparse bicycle lanes, cars throughout city centers, etc. Pedestrian facilities aren't much better here, with my city admitting that 50% of the streets that should have sidewalks don't

  23. I'm surprised Sydney or Melbourne weren't mentioned in this video. Surely they were left off in error? can you please check for me?

  24. City centers banning cars to allow greater bike path alterations and pedestrian transport is such a great idea. I wish my city would.

  25. For anyone more interested in biking in the Netherlands check the youtube channel BICYCLE DUTCH (in English). You can see the very extended biking culture and infrastructure in the Netherlands

  26. Should've just named ten random Dutch cities who are all way better for cycling. Copenhagen is in no way better than any Dutch city btw.

  27. The problem with the UK is the lazy school run parents and children. The children moan about how the environment is being destroyed and yet they are the primary contributors too it. They want the latest tech. They sit at home playing games.

  28. Nice list bit I think am organisation from Copenhagen probably is going to rate “Copenhagen” the best city for cycling. That one may be a little biased.
    The list has given me some good holiday ideas though 🙂 thanks @gcn

  29. I can't believe that Vancouver BC didn't make the list. We have a good infrastructure of both separated and shared bike lanes including the most used bike lane in North America which has seen over million trips so far this year. Ask Is and J Pow how they found it when they visited for the Fondo.

  30. Seattle. We have dedicated bike lanes everywhere along with pedestrian trails that allow bikes but no cars or mopeds. I go on a weekly 6 hour ride and never have to ride in the same lane as vehicles. Bike rentals are literally everywhere in town. Seattle was the first U.S. city to start dockless bike sharing. Just walk up, swipe the bike with your phone, and ride away. Most come with e motors to deal with the hills here and e-scooters are everywhere as well, especially the entrances to the trails. The trial was three different companies dropping 4,000 bikes each on the streets but I have seen a couple of new companies add the club.

    And who can forget that Seattle is the birthplace of bike polo? Sure, I can find a parking spot for a bike in Copenhagen but can I just walk to the park and get in on a game of pick-up bike polo?

  31. Boulder, CO, USA is one of the best in the USA (which isn't saying much…). Lots of cyclists here commuting and recreating via bicycle!

  32. Amazing how Eurocentric this is. I live in Calgary and we have over 800km of dedicated bike paths with about 400km of the paths maintained during the winter, which is quite a complement to the people here. I can imagine the overwhelming winters of Paris, Utrecht, Amsterdam, etc…, make things soooo hard there. Here's a link to the pathway system, geez, whomever put this together are total losers.

  33. I moved to Copenhagen a year ago and cycling is my means of transport for 99 percent of my journeys. And I think these rankings are flawed because they focus too much on infrastructure. Yes, the infrastructure here is fantastic, but despite the dominance of cycling, the mindset is still cars first, then bikes, then pedestrians. For instance, traffic lights are set for cars, not bikes. On my regular commute, I'm lucky to get 2 green lights out of the 12 or so that I have to pass through. Whenever there are road works, pedestrians and cyclists are forced to share narrow and often dangerous paths while cars are given all the space they need.
    And then there is the behaviour of people in cars. Danish drivers are quite aggressive and the number of people who give cyclists attitude is surprising for such a cycling city. I've never ridden in the Netherlands, but apparently there is a big focus on traffic calming and cars being 'guests' on the roads. Copenhagen really needs to adopt a similar approach.
    Coming from Australia, cycling here is incomparable. But it takes more than just separating cyclists from cars.

  34. How sad that there are no British cities in the list of what is mostly other europeans cities. I do think in Cambridge, UK we are very cycle friendly and improving all the time. So maybe next year..?

  35. Just look at what happened to Melbourne and other Australian cities. Compulsory helmet law discouraged cyclists from riding and the bike sharing program was removed. I think we need to re-think helmet requirements for URBAN cycling by adults. The more people learn how to ride safely, the better it is for the population. An under-appreciated effect of not wearing a helmet is that you feel more vulnerable and are therefore more inclined to ride slower and more carefully so as to reduce the likelihood of a collision. This is a major difference between cyclists in cities like Utrecht and those in LA. Rather than go crazy of helmet enforcement for urban cycling, we should learn how to ride slowly, respectfully (of the regulations) and consistently. We must continue to develop cycling infrastructure in cities, while at the same time recognizing that bike racing (or cycling for fitness) is not the same as urban biking.

  36. No American – UK – Asian – city in the top ! V.Sad state of affairs indeed. Well from where I am – In my city 'Faridabad' atleast 20 people try to kill me each hour – hahahah! bikes and cars and trucks on the wrong side of the road – vehicles jumping traffic lights – no cyclist has any lights or helmets or reflective gear – absolutely zero cycling lanes – zero trails – there's a 30cm space outside the highway lane marking – consider myself lucky and then ride within that zone ! haha. Love this GCN Video. Wish to ride one day in these cities @gcn @globalcyclingnetwork

  37. I have lived in Vienna, Paris and Barcelona and while the infrastructure is definitely worse in Barcelona, the fact that the weather is so good for cycling and the heavy use that the bike hire service has should make it pretty high in the list. There have to be some measure to decentivize the use of the gazillion motorcycles in the city and substitute them with bicycles (electric for the hilly areas of the city) , though

  38. Interesting how many (few) cyclists in the top ranked cities don't wear helmets. I guess once the infrastructure is in place, cycling becomes safer. Look forward to that day around Auckland.

  39. I'm glad that no one is mentioning Malmö, in Sweden anymore. We might have tons of bicycle roads in here, but cyclist mentality, knowledge and etiquette, combined with general assholness of car and bus drivers, makes this not a very pleasant city to cycle in.

  40. I came yesterday from Oslo. Yes, it’s as all Norway is very comfortable to ride. Big gradient and lots of sharp turns.

  41. I live in America where every car is a potential weapon and every motorist a short fuse. And the most important product of American corporate capitalism is that deadly four wheeled, ecocidal profit machine, the privately owned automobile. This isn't about the choices we make, it's about the choices that are made for us.

  42. Sorry Chris, but you have to be more accurate on your info. The Ciclovía in Bogotá dosen't began with Egan Bernal Tour de France, it's began in 1976, currently more than 2'000.000 of people use it every single weekend. Second, Bogota has 500km of cycle routes for commuting rides, however a lot of them are in bad conditions and poorly designed, especially on the Downtown, despite this issues, bicycle culture and respect for cyclist is growing thanks to the all Colombian stars cyclist, not just Bernal. And please, improve your pronunciation, you are a presenter of a International YouTube show. Cheers!

  43. Antwerp being in there is a joke. I can safely say that there is a lot of work still needed to encourage people taking their bike.

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