Another blog recently directed my attention to a lengthy lecture by John Pucher on what cities need to do to get more people on bicycles, using information from the Netherlands and Germany as examples for the next steps for Vancouver, B.C.

The lecture is pretty long (over 60 min), but Pucher includes some useful insights and some surprising information about the sort of shifts in thinking that need to happen to encourage bicycling by everyone. Interestingly, in a lot of cases where public officials have pushed for better bike infrastructure, they’ve initially met public resistance. But once such infrastructure changes are put in place (e.g. establishment of “car-free” business zones), they’ve had incredibly positive results. And Pucher also definitely puts the state of bicycle-riding in North America into perspective (or, rather, the lack of bicycle-riding).

The real question for me is, how do we get Pucher’s messages across to the public more effectively, so we can get the public to continue to push for improved bicycling infrustructure? Or if gas prices keep going the way they seem to be headed, will public opinion start to change on its own?

And lastly, what would it take to turn Mill Ave. into a car-free zone?

11 Responses to “How to get cities to encourage cycling for everyone”
  1. Scott says:

    The only thing it would take is to be louder than the business owners on Mill. Those yahoos will resist change at every step, despite the fact that they cycle through businesses on a yearly basis.

  2. injuremonkey says:

    ^^^ lol. cycle through businesses. Great pun, but ain’t it the truth, though? They tore down Long Wongs for that lovely dirt lot.

    First, you’d have to move every retail chain shop to a different area. People can’t walk more than 20 feet when it’s hot, and that’s all Mill Ave is anymore is a place to spend money. I’d rather wish huge and make every other road a car-free road. We just need more cyclists.

  3. ben says:

    If you had better drivers (both)
    You wouldn’t need more infastructure.
    Jist use the same road they have been using for the last hundred years.it also doesn’t help our leaders neglect cycling needs in motovation and laws.

    Nothing more than a diversion.look how Peds have been treated by being pushed along side the road and murdered.

    A first step would be installing some responisblity.with all drivers actions.

  4. dubs4life says:

    They should do what Austin does on 6th street….shut it down at night and reopen it in the AM. I personally try to stay away from Mill. Too many meatheads with popped collars for me. Casey Moores is always a good time (even with the flat ironed hair) and Mamacitas is lovely. Keep jacking the gas prices up and the cities will HAVE to deal with more riders.

  5. Rebecca says:

    I think the attached presentation provides a fairly effective argument in favor of separate space designations for different forms of transportation (i.e. bike lanes vs. shared roadways). That said, I still think bicycles should take more advantage of the fact that roads are a shared space (except where there’s a bike lane). After all, if we want drivers to change their behavior, we’ll be most effective if they become accustomed to seeing bicycles on the road.

  6. Tom says:

    I like NYC’s experiment inspired by none other than Bogota Columbia: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/24/nyregion/24streets.html

  7. Al says:

    Rebecca wrote:
    “I still think bicycles should take more advantage of the fact that roads are a shared space (except where there’s a bike lane). After all, if we want drivers to change their behavior, we’ll be most effective if they become accustomed to seeing bicycles on the road,”

    I agree, except to note that even when there is a bike lane present the remainder of the road is still shared space. There are many locations in Tempe where the bike lane is not the safest (or practical) location to cycle. Motorists must still share the other lanes with cyclists even when a bike lane is present. I find that when not using the bike lane in these situations that some motorists are less willing to share the road as they seem to expect me to be in the bike lane.

    Al

  8. injuremonkey says:

    Read the comments below this article… these people terrify (and enrage) me! These are the operators of the vehicles around us!

    http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2008/07/09/20080709nebicyclists0709.html

  9. ben says:

    I just went from Frisco Co to Vail Co on a bike path then in Vail it is set up as a human scale rather than a autoscale.

    I see more cyclists than Amsterdam on a rainy day.
    Paris is doing what most american cities should be doing. Taking back the streets.

  10. Mitchapalooza says:

    Why doesn’t our bus system accommodate more bicycles per vehicle. 3 bikes on bus is not enough. Anyone have any pull or a contact to lobby for bike racks inside the bus?

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