Toronto Mayor David Miller thinks a lot more people should commute on bikes.
David Miller has, along with other mayors from big cities all over the world, spent the last few days in Copenhagen, which is hosting the UN climate summit, COP15.
But the lord mayor of Copenhagen, Ritt Bjerregaard, is also hosting a mayors summit, enabling the cities to exchange ideas and practical solutions.
“I have been very impressed with the biking culture of Copenhagen,” said Miller.
“A vast amount of people use their bikes to get to and from work or their studies, even on a day like today when it’s snowing.”
Actually, Miller is the only one of the mayors assembled who looks totally at ease in the freezing cold and whirling snow of the Danish capital.
Most of the other mayors are nearly unrecognizable, hidden as they are behind scarves and hats and tightly wrapped coats. But he even wears his Toronto Football Club scarf loosely.
“I feel at home in this weather,” he said.
And so do the bikers of Copenhagen. Because the local government clears the bike paths of snow before or at the same time that they clear the roads. Just like they get a green light in crossings before the cars do.
“In Copenhagen, biking and walking has priority, and I would like to take that back to Toronto,” David Miller said.
Another thing he wants to take home is the windmills.
Yesterday he went with most of the other mayors to study the offshore park of windmills just outside Copenhagen. The park has become a landmark of the capital, one of the first things that people see, whether they come by plane or by boat to Copenhagen.
“They are beautiful.
I really believe we should have offshore windmills in Toronto,” Miller said. “There is a lot of debate going on, saying they will mar the view. But just look at them here — they are beautiful.”