If you Build it...

By Ryan McGreal
Published October 19, 2007

A review of the 11 most bike-friendly cities in the world suggests the following surprising conclusion: people ride bicycles more in cities that create bicycle-friendly environments.

The differences aren't just trivial. In Amsterdam, the #1 city on the list, 40 percent of all traffic constitutes bicycles. In most North American cities, by contrast, cycling makes up just one or two percent of the traffic.

Don't get confused about which way causality flows. In Portland, Ore., the #2 city, cycling increased dramatically after the city expanded its cycling network and started providing cycling equipment and safety training for low-income commuters.

In other words, if you build a bike-friendly environent, more people will ride bikes. It's really that simple.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan wrote a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. His articles have also been published in The Walrus, HuffPost and Behind the Numbers. He maintains a personal website, has been known to share passing thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and posts the occasional cat photo on Instagram.


View Comments: Nested | Flat

Read Comments

[ - ]

By jason (registered) | Posted October 20, 2007 at 13:20:02

and the beauty of building such infrastructure is the dirt cheap cost and the plethora of positive benefits both in terms of health and financially (remember,sick people cost society lots of money. Healthy people don't).

And you'll never see a news headline like this coming from Amsterdam or Portlands bike network:


Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Genghis (anonymous) | Posted October 21, 2007 at 13:37:10

I dont know why our of 4 freaking lanes in each direction on King/Main..1.. just 1 lane could not be for bikes.I dont buy all this safety crap.Make the right hand lane a priority lane for bikes and very stiff fines for cars that push or bully past.any car found driving through in a thouroughfare manner should be ticketed.

What other city in the GTA or Ontario has 4 lanes in either direction.It has the perfect potential for an all bike lane( except for right hand turns for cars).Not even Toronto has that

Permalink | Context

View Comments: Nested | Flat

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to comment.

Events Calendar

There are no upcoming events right now.
Why not post one?

Recent Articles

Article Archives

Blog Archives

Site Tools