this thread is expressly designed to raise the blood pressure of the die-hard vehicular cyclists.
A few choice quotes:
"...(to) reach usage levels similar to European cities, we need to make it easy, focus on the positives, tame automobiles, and do our research to counter anti-bike sentiment"
“Our relationship to the bicycle in Copenhagen is much like the vacuum cleaner. We don’t have five of them that we keep polished and well-oiled, there are no vacuum cleaner enthusiasts, we don’t go to a specialty shop to buy one or wear special clothes while we vacuum. The bicycle and the vacuum cleaner are just tools. One of them we clean our homes with, the other we use to transport ourselves around the city.”
"...if there is infrastructure in place that makes the bicycle the easiest and fastest tool to get from a to b, then a high rate of bicycle usage will follow."
"In the 1980s, when Copenhagen was experiencing a boom in bicycling, city officials worried that too many people were riding on the busy main streets. “They thought, we’ve got to stop that, it’s not safe.” Their solution was to direct bike traffic to the backstreet by building high-quality cycle tracks through neighborhoods."
"The problem was that the neighborhood routes meant people had to ride 10-15 minutes out of their way to get from a to b. The result? No one used them. “It was a flop. So, the city shrugged and went, ‘fine, we’ll put them on the main streets’”."
"The lesson is that planners should put bicycle infrastructure where people actually want to go, not where engineers think they should go."
"bicycles are too often marketed in a way that makes them seem “dangerous and sweaty”. “These are not unique selling points that are going to get a lot of people to buy this product.”
"A key to making cycling mainstream is to address the dangers of the automobile"
"...if cities really want to attain high levels of bicycle use, they must begin to acknowledge that the cars are causing havoc and their power and dominance on the urban landscape must be reigned in."
"...what took Copenhagen 30 years to achieve could be done today in 5-10 years. This is in part because all the (planning and engineering) mistakes have been made and the case for bicycling is stronger now than it has ever been. He also pointed out that to do that it will take “visionary political decision-making.”"