Bike 'superhighways' could save Danes millions in health costs

April 24, 2013 at 2:28 PM

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, April 24 (UPI) -- Completion of all of Copenhagen's 28 bicycle superhighways could result in residents taking 34,000 fewer sick days each, a local health authority says.

The study by Region Hovedstaden, the city's health authority, calculated the health improvements caused by increased cycling could save the city $10.5 million a year, The Copenhagen Post reported Wednesday.

The report was released as the city opens its second bicycle superhighway. The 12.5-mile Farum route has wide lanes prioritized for bicycles.

Some 350,000 Danes daily use the existing 28 routes that will be upgraded. Once the renovations are complete, the health agency said an additional 30,000 residents are expected to use the routes each day.

Copenhagen's deputy mayor said the goal is for 50 percent of commuters to bike to and from school and work in the city.

However, a recent government proposal could negate the health effects from the planned bike routes.

The Danish government has agreed to abolish taxes on beer and sugary soft drinks to encourage people to buy their beverages at home rather than travel to Germany, where the products are much cheaper.

Health organizations have criticized the plan, saying an increase in medical bills could end up costing the country more.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Joel Osteen heckled, 6 arrested during service at Houston megachurch
Ghost hunters discover woman's body at abandoned Mississippi hospital
Walmart sorry for making Islamic State cake after rejecting Confederate flag cake
Cuomo on escaped inmates: Plan was to kill prison worker's husband
NBCUniversal cuts ties with Donald Trump over immigration comments