Not least is the fact that it takes investment in cycling seriously. Besides spending 80 million euros annually on bike infrastructure, ABC news reports that the German government is putting its weight behind a cargo bike renaissance too:
Transport ministry spokeswoman Birgitta Worringen says more than three-quarters of all journeys in Germany are less than 10 kilometres and cargo bikes can deliver all sorts of uses. "It's a good means of transport which doesn't make any noise or pollution," she said.To that end the government supported a 100,000-strong conference in Hamburg last year using cargo bikes for promotion and catering. Ms Worringen says afterwards the transport ministry developed a guide.
This isn't just some niche agenda to appeal to green voters. Bikes are a frugal way to keep cities moving and address air quality issues. With UPS—which has experimented with cargo bikes stateside too—already delivering by bike in six German cities, the chances are good that we'll see bike transport in urban centers continuing to grow.
There are, of course, challenges to be overcome, says the ABC News report. Much of the bike infrastructure already built—from bike lanes to parking—was created with traditional bikes in mind. But it's a good sign that the government is acknowledging the role that cargo bikes can play in the future. Hopefully it will be adjusting its infrastructure investments accordingly.