Bicycles In The Spotlight


This week another Earth Policy Institute staffer joined those on our staff who bike to work.

As my colleague, J. Matthew Roney, recently wrote in Bicycles Pedaling Into the Spotlight, "Promoting the bike as a clean and efficient alternative to the personal automobile is a practical way for cities to reduce traffic congestion and smog. To simultaneously confront those problems as well as climate change and an emerging obesity epidemic, government leaders and advocacy groups are working to bring cycling back to prominence in the urban transport mix."Matt notes that the world produced an estimated 130 million bicycles in 2007 -- more than twice the 52 million cars produced. Overall, since 1970, bicycle output has nearly quadrupled, while car production has roughly doubled.

A number of European cities have set the standard for pro-bike transportation and land use policies, in addition to investment in infrastructure and public education. Copenhagen heads the list where 36 percent of commuters bike to work. Matt writes, "The city plans to invest more than $200 million in bike facilities between 2006 and 2024 and estimates that by 2015 half its residents will bike to work or school. In Amsterdam, cycling accounts for 55 percent of journeys to jobs that are less than 4.7 miles from home. The government has pledged to spend $160 million from 2006 to 2010 on bicycle paths, parking, and safety."

Governments elsewhere are following Europe's lead. Here are some examples of bicycle promotion initiatives.

Image credit::BBC Sport, Bicycle Hubs and Spokes

Read Bicycles Pedaling Into the Spotlight to get the whole story.

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