CITIES, INFRASTRUCTURE, SUSTAINABILITY, TRANSPORTATION
The societal costs and benefits of commuter bicycling
Tags: bicycling, global warming, greenhouse gases, safety
Research Findings Media/Analysis Tips Feedback
Citibike rider, Columbus Circle, New York (Wikimedia)
To reduce air pollution, traffic congestion and the health problems linked to sedentary lifestyles, many cities around the world — from Beijing to Boston, and Montreal to Mumbai — are working to encourage residents to bicycle more. These and hundreds of other communities have established bike sharing programs, regularly close down streets to attract walkers and cyclists, and are investing in cycling-specific infrastructure.
While the United States lags far behind countries such as Denmark in the percentage of trips taken by bicycle — the overall U.S. rate was 0.53% in 2010, compared to 40% in Copenhagen — cycling is on the rise: Annual trips increased from 1.7 billion in 2001 to 4 billion in 2009, a jump of 135%. Davis, Calif., is the leader, with 22.1% of trips taken by bicycle, followed by Boulder, Colo. (9.9%), Eugene, Ore. (8.3%), Berkeley, Calif. (8%), and Cambridge, Mass. (6.8%). While the United States is still a long way from the end of car culture, a shift does seem to be underway.
- See more at: The societal costs and benefits of commuter bicycling Journalist's Resource: Research for Reporting, from Harvard Shorenstein Center