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12/09/2009: "Copenhagen, Bikes, and Climate Talks"
On Democracy Now, Amy Goodman interviews John Hickenlooper and Damon Moglen about what the US is bringing to the climate talks. Both interviewees noted the significant use of bicycles in Copenhagen, and the insignificant offers the US is bringing to the table. About bikes:
AMY GOODMAN: This is why you're actually here in Copenhagen, is that right?
MAYOR JOHN HICKENLOOPER: Well, the transit side of it, right. We're talking about what are those ways that you integrate transit with bicycles. I mean, here we are in Copenhagen. Thirty-seven percent of the people in this city, when they go to work in the metropolitan area, ride a bicycle to work. I mean, it's remarkable. Their goal--I met yesterday for an hour with the deputy mayor of the environment and transportation, Klaus Bondam, and Klaus Bondam described how their next goal is to hit 50 percent. I mean, to have half your population, when they go to work on bicycles, they're healthier, the air is cleaner, there's less carbon emissions, you save money. I mean, the benefits are dramatic, and you can see the difference just when you walk down the street.
AMY GOODMAN: I mean, we were just in the city council last night at like 10:30, 11:00. The whole bottom floor of this century-old building is filled with not only bicycle racks, but bicycles that fill them.
AMY GOODMAN: And city council members, the guards, everyone are riding in and out of the city council on their bicycles.
MAYOR JOHN HICKENLOOPER: Yeah. When I flew in, the fellow next to me on the plane is a hotshot young technology expert, makes a huge amount of money--doesn't own a car, rides his bike. You know, he says, "It's healthier. Its more fashionable." It's--you know, it's what his friends do. And I think that's the whole thing that--when you get to public sentiment, I mean, what Lincoln was talking about. We need to change our public sentiment so people want to do these things. And it's not government coming down and being punitive, but it's creating a change, a transformation in our attitudes.
To read the transcript, or hear the audio, go to Democracy Now.

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