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  1. #1
    Senior Member rideorglide's Avatar
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    New Data on Cycling Anayized by Harvard's Shorenstein Center

    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)
    (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
    A valuable finding might be the projected decrease in deaths/serious injuries if any of several policy options might be implemented. But a baseline increase if they are not.

    Obviously all very theoretical but food for thought.

    The four policy options analyzed were: (1) The creation of a regional cycling network (RCN), currently being pursued by the Auckland Regional Council. It involves marked lanes with no physical segregation on 46% of main roads, 25 kilometers of shared footpaths per 100,000 population and a small number of shared bus and bicycle lanes. (2) Arterial segregated bicycle lanes (ASBL), with one-way, barrier-separated cycling lanes on all main roads throughout the region. (3) Self-explaining roads (SER), which slow car traffic through structural changes and visual cues. (4) A combination of arterial segregated bicycle lanes and self-explaining roads (ASBL+SER). - See more at: The societal costs and benefits of commuter bicycling Journalist's Resource: Research for Reporting, from Harvard Shorenstein Center
    http://theoutsideinsideout.blogspot.com/

  2. #2
    Senior Member puckett129's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, Americans don't tend to be swayed with empirical data. We like a message that plays to beliefs we already hold and to have our world view reinforced. We also don't understand this thing the article calls "societal benefits." How can something benefit everyone all at the same time?

  3. #3
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    Comparing the overall US rate of 0.53% to Copenhagen's 40% is meaningless. Copenhagen is a relatively small and completely flat city.

  4. #4
    Senior Member TransitBiker's Avatar
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    We need more & better transit in US to even begin to put a dent in those numbers.

    - Andy
    I can't wait for the next pint of good chocolate milk after a long ride.

  5. #5
    Captain Big Ring tractorlegs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by puckett129 View Post
    Unfortunately, Americans don't tend to be swayed with empirical data. We like a message that plays to beliefs we already hold and to have our world view reinforced. We also don't understand this thing the article calls "societal benefits." How can something benefit everyone all at the same time?
    ↑↑↑↑ This. ↑↑↑↑ Everyone already knows what they believe and are not ready to change their minds. We only look for authoritative sources that support our already-held views.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Mr. Hairy Legs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by puckett129 View Post
    Unfortunately, Americans don't tend to be swayed with empirical data. We like a message that plays to beliefs we already hold and to have our world view reinforced. We also don't understand this thing the article calls "societal benefits." How can something benefit everyone all at the same time?
    Thank you for your honesty.

    People can change, though, as the world changes around them. I have hope.

  7. #7
    Senior Member TransitBiker's Avatar
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    When i stop getting asked "do you have a basket?" whenever I tell people i ride, i will feel that bike use will have crossed an important threshold from hobby/fitness in peoples minds to everyday staple.

    - Andy
    I can't wait for the next pint of good chocolate milk after a long ride.

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