Strædet is a street in central Copenhagen that mixes motorized traffic with cyclists and pedestrians, weaving their way between cafés and scattered parking places. Strædet is a so called Shared Area, where cars, bicycles and mopeds can travel at reduced speeds (normally below 15 km/h), adjusting to the characteristics of the pedestrians.
Background and objectives
Strædet runs through a well-preserved historical district of Copenhagen. The purpose of the renovation was to promote the street as a shopping street and to preserve its distinctive architectural character while keeping the necessary traffic in the street. Earlier the street was an arterial road for motorized traffic. In 1989 Strædet was, as an experiment, regraded to a mixed pedestrian and vehicle street. As the experiment worked satisfactorily the street was reconstructed in 1992; the pedestrian paths were integrated in the carriageway.
Normally road users are kept strictly separated from each other through the division of streets into carriageways, bicycle tracks and pavements. This does not apply to Strædet. Instead the signs and the road equipment mark the traffic status of the area. It is the steles, benches and parking spaces that are speed reducing.>In the summer, the outdoor service at several cafés function as speed reducers. Additionally, the signs at the entrance to Strædet indicate that one is entering a Shared Area. At Strædet, the road users have to show mutual consideration while giving up old rights.
Strædet is 460 m long and has a width of 8-11 m. The road covering of Strædet is made of granite materials and cement flags, all in one level. In the junctions, stones are placed in a circle-pattern. Installation costs: DKK 2,600,000 (approximately €360,000).
Results so far
Strædet is a pleasant street to be on, especially for cyclists and pedestrians. It is possible to sit down, eat, drink and enjoy life, especially during the summer months. The renovation of Strædet is a a good example of turning around drastically people's street behaviour. In the beginning it was difficult, but gradually the road users have got used to the new rules of behaviour.
As a result of the success of Strædet, the concept is being extended to other streets in Copenhagen.