Three leading cities – London, Paris and New York – have all seized on the Covid-19 pandemic as an opportunity to make improvements to their cycling infrastructure to improve mobility, reduce congestion and cut pollution. While these cities are distinct, how do their cycling infrastructures compare?
This weekend, Keir Starmer (the leader of UK’s Labour Party) made a decision that million of other British people make every day. He probably didn’t even think twice about it. But that decision had consequences — for his neighbourhood, for the air, for the climate and for one stranger who, because of this decision, would end their weekend in the hospital.
Coronavirus has prompted millions of people to get back on their bicycles. We need to get out and exercise, have fun with our families, avoid the risks of mass transit. It’s the biggest boom in bicycles since the 1970s. Sales are skyrocketing, cities are painting bicycle lanes, car traffic is down. Will it last? (First in a series)
The Netherlands has a worldwide reputation as a bicycle-loving country – but bikes account for only a small proportion of kilometers travelled.
This September, Bike Easy and a large coalition of partners are working with the City of New Orleans to create Connect the Crescent – a connected, protected bikeway network in the heart of the city – showcasing a bold vision to improve biking, walking, and riding transit.
Mobility in the Netherlands is approached holistically within the urban fabric and in incorporated into how cities are more generally organized.
How do we get beyond the dependency-inducing trap of car culture? After 100 years in which auto-oriented infrastructure has dominated public works spending and reshaped civic life, how can we make our streets safe and healthy spaces?
Let’s face it, most of us don’t love the environment most of the time. More often than not, the environment is too cold, too hot, too buggy, too dry or too wet, and we try to keep it safely on the far side of a window or a TV screen. Bicycle travel has a way of breaking us out of that narrow band of comfort.
The “vehicular cycling” approach promoted by John Forester can be a great help to all of us who have to ride on busy streets dominated by cars. Yet I think there are good reasons why this approach has always had limited appeal. In this second installment of a two-part essay I compare the vehicular cycling approach to what is arguably a much stronger social force – the Slow Bicycling movement.
The end of the 19th century gave us one of the great advances in transportation history, the modern bicycle. Alas, the early years of the twentieth century gave us the speedometer. And while the speedometer was far from the worst technological development of the 1900s, a fixation on speed was an unfortunate detour for several decades of bicycling history, especially in North America.
For me, a good bike ride is both relaxing and stimulating—a chance to revel in the passing scenery as I feel the wind blow across my face. But I never expected to experience this in New York City. Navigating Brooklyn and a bit of Manhattan on two wheels for the first time was a sublime surprise. Instead of constantly peering over my shoulder fearful of cars speeding toward me (as I expected), I actually savored the street life all around while pedaling through town.
While the momentum of all-season cycling has been building slowly for decades, progress has accelerated greatly in the past ten years. One result is that city governments across the northern hemisphere are working not only to add new cycling infrastructure, but to keep the bike lanes cleared and safe through the winter.