So, here's my situation:
I live in Greenville, North Carolina, which is a town with a university but not exactly a university town. While there are lots of students, it's not (yet, anyway) an intellectual/arty/liberal population like you'd find in Chapel Hill, Charlottesville, Athens, etc. It's a small Southern city, pretty much. That's a fine thing to be, in lots of ways, but it hasn't been great for biking. Even though Greenville isn't particularly big, the development patterns for years have favored suburban-style sprawl. The city is growing fast, and if the pattern stays the same it'll look like Charlotte or Atlanta pretty soon.
Fortunately, it's not that big yet. I'm part of a bike task force that's working to put in bike infrastructure and nudge the city away from totally car-centered development. It's pretty exciting, really: Greenville is still small enough that, if we do the right things now, it could actually turn out as a good place to get around without a car. The terrain is flat and there's no snow or ice.
Here's the thing, though: most people around here seem to have the usual American mindset about bikes: they're either for sport, or for kids, but they're not for going to work or going shopping. People are scared of riding on the roads and they don't see the need for bike lanes or separated bike paths (which, to tell the truth, wouldn't serve very many people right now, because most people are scared to ride bikes or see it as childish or unmanly or something). So, like most of America, we've got a chicken-and-egg problem. It's hard to change the culture without changing the infrastructure first, but it's hard to get the money and support for changing the infrastructure without changing the culture. I'm sure lots of you know about this.
So here's my question: speaking practically, what's the best move to make first? What's the most effective action for changing people's attitudes? I'm especially interested in hearing what people have done in conservative areas of the U.S. Thanks!