Sunday, March 1, 2009

Making Cycling Irresistable

Entire article is about 35 pages. Found the link to this on the League of American Bicyclists home page.

Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons from
The Netherlands, Denmark and Germany

Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA

(Received 9 July 2007; revised 16 October 2007; accepted 11 November 2007)

ABSTRACT This article shows how the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany have made bicycling a safe, convenient and practical way to get around their cities. The analysis relies on national aggregate data as well as case studies of large and small cities in each country. The key to achieving high levels of cycling appears to be the provision of separate cycling facilities along heavily travelled roads and at intersections, combined with traffic calming of most residential neighbourhoods. Extensive cycling rights of way in the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany are complemented by ample bike parking, full integration with public transport, comprehensive traffic education and training of both cyclists and motorists, and a wide range of promotional events intended to generate enthusiasm and wide public support for cycling. In addition to their many pro-bike policies and programmes, the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany make driving expensive as well as inconvenient in central cities through a host of taxes and restrictions on car ownership, use and parking. Moreover, strict land-use policies foster compact, mixed-use developments that generate shorter and thus more bikeable trips. It is the coordinated implementation of this multifaceted, mutually reinforcing set of policies that best explains the success of these three countries in promoting cycling. For comparison, the article portrays the marginal status of cycling in the UK and the USA, where only about 1% of trips are by bike.

John Forester's critique of this and some earlier work are here.

Another opinion is offered by my Ph.D. adviser, Gil Hanson. Gil is also a serious road cyclist and bike commuter back at suburban SUNY, Stony Brook, on Eastern Long Island. He wrote Bicycling in Muenster, Germany after spending a sabbatical there.

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