Still, the city - or any American city - have a long way to go. Integration of active transportation (human powered - like walking and bike riding) into cites takes a lot of work and careful attention to detail.
This paper 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 traveled roads and at intersections, combined with traffic calming of
most residential neighborhoods. 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 programs,
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 paper portrays the marginal status of
cycling in the UK and USA, where only about one percent of trips are by bike.
The Dutch, Danes and Germans decided it was important and have worked policy for decades. It could be done in the US and other areas if there was political will - it would not be expensive and would have a very positive effect on health as well as using less oil.