By Ryan McGreal
Published March 20, 2012
When it comes to transportation modes, culture follows infrastructure. Such a simple concept, but cities that haven't built a network for cycling continue to make the excuse that people don't ride bikes because the culture doesn't support it, instead of the obvious reason. (Imagine blaming a lack of car culture if no one drove in a city that had no paved streets.)
In city after city around the world, no matter the geography or climate, once a real bike lane network is in place, people come up with all kinds of wonderful reasons to ride a bike - after all, cycling is a practical, healthy, invigorating and above all fun way to get around a city.
But when a city actually invests in cycling infrastructure and cycling goes up, the underlying reason - the reason that makes all the other reasons possible - is that it becomes possible to choose to ride a bike.
Before cycling can elevate a city, you need bike lanes to elevate cycling. It's that simple.
(h/t to Jason Leach for finding this documentary)