Britain's bike capitalWhile the number of bike commuters has been exploding in London in the past decade, the capital isn't the only place in Britain where cycling is doing well. Cambridge, about an hour-and-a-half North of London, could arguably be called Britain's bike capital. With slightly over 1/5 of trips made on bikes, and around 1/2 of trips in the city center made on two wheels, cyclists have reached a critical mass that is transforming the city.
You get what you design for, and so Cambridge has been building infrastructure that encourage cycling by making it safer and more convenient (pedestrian and bike bridges that are not accessible to cars, for example). They also do things that try to discourage car from going to certain sections of the city, such as the center, and they've limited speeds to 20 MPH to improve safety:
More than protected bike lanes, the key to Cambridge's success has been the management of motor vehicle traffic. For one, the city center is now ringed by a cordon of moveable bollards that only recede for buses, taxis, and some service vehicles. Private cars are not allowed downtown but people on bikes are free to enter at any time -- which makes the bicycle the most convenient mode of transportation.
Our friend Clarence over at Streetfilms has made a great video that shows many of Cambridge's pro-bike features. Hopefully other cities can learn from them, just like we need to learn from other success stories (Amsterdam, Copenhagen, etc):