In lots of cities, including the one I live in, there is an ongoing discussion about whether bicycles lanes should be painted on the street or on the sidewalk.
If these are the only two options, I much prefer having a lane painted on the street, because car drivers can see me better and are less likely to run me down at intersections. Also I have a smoother ride and can go twice as fast because I don’t have to worry about running into stray pedestrians.
Copenhagen, however, has a third option. On most of the main streets they have constructed cycle tracks that are higher than the street but lower than the sidewalk and separated from both by curbs. This is no doubt more expensive than just painting lines — but the cycle tracks are a good investment and are very cheap compared to the huge sums that are routinely spent on building roads for cars.
Since most of the main streets in Copenhagen now have cycle tracks, you don’t need a special bicycle map as in many other cities, since nearly every street is safe and convenient for cyclists.
A study commissioned by the city of Copenhagen found that the construction of cycle tracks has resulted in an 18-20% increase in bicycle traffic and a 9-10% decrease in car traffic on roads where cycle tracks have been constructed.
My photos on this page are from 2009. I revised the text in 2019.