"Libertarians bash D.C.'s successful bikeshare for serving wealthy
whites, and miss the point of public transport."
Read the article at http://www.salon.com/topic/dream_city/
From The Economist: "More people are riding bikes, but cycling is stuck in a niche"
Boris Johnson, London's mayor and a keen cyclist, has
laid on jazzed-up "cycle superhighways" that criss-cross
popular commutes. His most visible imprint on the city so
far is a cycle-hire scheme. By 2026 Mr Johnson wants cycling
to have quintupled from 2001 levels. But [...] two-wheeled
transport is now mostly the preserve of wealthy men. Two-thirds
of those using Mr Johnson's cycle-hire scheme claim household
incomes of more than £50,000 a year, though only a quarter of
London residents make that much. And 77% of them are men.
In Amsterdam, by contrast, most cyclists are women. The main
roadblock is safety: overall, 62% of people think it
is too dangerous to cycle, and around 75% of women do.
Read the article at http://www.economist.com/node/21556970
I did a search on the topic "what makes for a bike-friendly
community?" and found this article about Davis, CA dating
from 1998. In terms of being bike-friendly, Davis is about
as good as it gets in the US. It has Platinum status, along
with two other "bike mecca" places: Boulder and Portland.
Here's a relevant excerpt from that 14 year-old article (near
the last paragraph) - relevant because it is proposed that
"Most such well-intentioned, but ill-fated designs were
phased out long ago. However, some facility design
decisions made decades ago were not so easy to remedy.
"The most pervasive example in Davis is the two-way bike
path immediately adjacent to a roadway. Particularly problematic
are single two-way paths located on only one side of the adjacent
road. The problems associated with these designs have been described
in any number of publications, and they are well illustrated at several
locations in Davis. In spite of this documentation, some residents,
city officials, and developers remain quite vocal in advocating such
facilities when new construction is being planned and designed. The
city and campus have attempted a variety of mitigation strategies
to reduce the hazards or inefficiencies associated with these side paths,
but many observers believe that continuing to build such facilities is
wasteful at best.