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If you cycle or walk in America, the fatality stats are not just your imagination.

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If you cycle or walk in America, the fatality stats are not just your imagination.

Old 12-28-22, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
People keep trying to compare the USA to some other country. It never works for various reasons. IMO, one of the key differences that works against us is cultural. We're a society obsessed with "RIGHTS", while our counterparts are more interested in how to work together toward goals.

This forum reflects that. Many here firmly believe that our issues can only be solved by others changing. Outliers like me believe that change begins at home.
...it occurred to me, upon reflection, that I heard this same argument proposed during the push for automotive seatbelts, as standard safety equipment from the car manufacturers.
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Old 12-28-22, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer
...it occurred to me, upon reflection, that I heard this same argument proposed during the push for automotive seatbelts, as standard safety equipment from the car manufacturers.
When Janette Sadik-Khan was transportation commissioner of NYC, she came across this type of argument everytime she implemented bicycle lanes and pedestrian friendly streets. But after they were installed, everything from safety, business, travel times and atmosphere improved.

And then the next project receives exactly the same pushback arguments. And so on and so on.
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Old 12-29-22, 11:31 PM
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My theory is that cycling is a popular, affordable, easy to enter sport that does not require any experience or training in order to indulge oneself. It is highly likely for a novice to venture out on their new bike all fat, happy, and $t00pid and without a care in the world only to find out the sport is potentially deadly - the hard way. The sheer number of cyclists runs the odds up of the mentally or physically weak herd member becoming a hood ornament or door mat eventually.

Other potentially deadly activities:

Driving a car: Instruction, tests, and licensing along with some supervised practice. (And STILL many of them suck at driving)

Sky Diving: Intense instruction, supervised practice.

Scuba Diving: Intense instruction, supervised practice, licensing, buddy system.

Cycling: Acquire a bike, GO!
======================

As for the walkers - anybody who lives in a city big enough to have crosswalk signals has witnessed pedestrians ignoring them, crossing mid block, looking at their phones while crossing streets, and an infinite number of bone-headed maneuvers that most survive. Odds are that if you operate a bicycle or pair of shoes around motor vehicles without paying attention or knowing what the Hell you are doing, well, the results get posted here all the time.

I am never surprised. It's a sure bet.

Last edited by JoeyBike; 12-29-22 at 11:36 PM.
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Old 12-29-22, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike
My theory is that cycling is a popular, affordable, easy to enter sport that does not require any experience or training in order to indulge oneself. It is highly likely for a novice to venture out on their new bike all fat, happy, and $t00pid and without a care in the world only to find out the sport is potentially deadly - the hard way. The sheer number of cyclists runs the odds up of the mentally or physically weak herd member becoming a hood ornament or door mat eventually.

...




As for the walkers - anybody who lives in a city big enough to have crosswalk signals has witnessed pedestrians ignoring them, crossing mid block, looking at their phones while crossing streets, and an infinite number of bone-headed maneuvers that most survive. Odds are that if you operate a bicycle or pair of shoes around motor vehicles without paying attention or knowing what the Hell you are doing, well, the results get posted here all the time.

I am never surprised. It's a sure bet.

...sure. What's your explanation for the significant differences in fatality rates between America and the other countries in the OP data base results ?
Are Europeans imposing training requirements on their pedestrians and cyclists of which I'm unaware ? Can they get away with this because those people are just smarter than Americans ?
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Old 12-30-22, 12:56 AM
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American pedestrians are 99% as dumb as rocks. Damn right. Way slower, older and heavier as well, no doubt. They think they are bloody entitled as well. They will fight their doctor to get that handicap tag. LOL.
They die at least 20 to 1 cyclist here. Of course you won't see many unfit on a bike either.

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Old 12-30-22, 06:02 AM
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As far as statistics, remember USA has 350 M people.
In Russia people fall out windows.
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Old 12-30-22, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53
American pedestrians are 99% as dumb as rocks. Damn right. Way slower, older and heavier as well, no doubt. They think they are bloody entitled as well. They will fight their doctor to get that handicap tag. LOL.
They die at least 20 to 1 cyclist here. Of course you won't see many unfit on a bike either.
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Old 12-30-22, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53
American pedestrians are 99% as dumb as rocks. Damn right. Way slower, older and heavier as well, no doubt. They think they are bloody entitled as well. They will fight their doctor to get that handicap tag. LOL.
They die at least 20 to 1 cyclist here. Of course you won't see many unfit on a bike either.

Are you a Poe or do you really believe this crap?
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Old 12-30-22, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike
My theory is that cycling is a popular, affordable, easy to enter sport that does not require any experience or training in order to indulge oneself. It is highly likely for a novice to venture out on their new bike all fat, happy, and $t00pid and without a care in the world only to find out the sport is potentially deadly - the hard way. The sheer number of cyclists runs the odds up of the mentally or physically weak herd member becoming a hood ornament or door mat eventually.

Other potentially deadly activities:

Driving a car: Instruction, tests, and licensing along with some supervised practice. (And STILL many of them suck at driving)

Sky Diving: Intense instruction, supervised practice.

Scuba Diving: Intense instruction, supervised practice, licensing, buddy system.

Cycling: Acquire a bike, GO!
======================

As for the walkers - anybody who lives in a city big enough to have crosswalk signals has witnessed pedestrians ignoring them, crossing mid block, looking at their phones while crossing streets, and an infinite number of bone-headed maneuvers that most survive. Odds are that if you operate a bicycle or pair of shoes around motor vehicles without paying attention or knowing what the Hell you are doing, well, the results get posted here all the time.

I am never surprised. It's a sure bet.

Unless you can demonstrate that cyclists AND pedestrians are far worse in the US than they are in different countries, this is perhaps the silliest argument for the difference in fatality rates that can be imagined.
The numbers, speed, and size/weight of motor vehicles in US cities are so much higher than pretty much anywhere else that any attempt to explain around that results in this grasping at straws-type explanation. Seriously, you really don't see you're claiming that pedestrians are better trained in other countries? What's your proof for that?
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Old 12-30-22, 11:49 AM
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...to be completely transparent on this issue, I am aware of one country, the Netherlands, that has a national traffic exam for children. If there are any others, I am unaware of them.
Even in the Netherlands, the increasing dangers of riding have led to an apparent reduction in children riding bicycles to school and around the neighborhoods there.

And the fatality rates in the Netherlands for bicycle versus car are a fraction of ours, when considered on a cyclist per mile basis.

With regard to pedestrian safety training, once you get past the falling and skinning your knee stage, it's universally presumed you don't require any more assistance.

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Old 12-30-22, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by 1979schwinn
As far as statistics, remember USA has 350 M people.
In Russia people fall out windows.
In California cars ram into homes and kill people. The nightly news is car chases. LOL.
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Old 12-30-22, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53
In California cars ram into homes and kill people. The nightly news is car chases. LOL.
...yes, Gordo. Living in California is tough. Every day it's more Fast and Furious outtakes here. Mad Max had nothing on us.

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Old 12-30-22, 02:52 PM
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...I hadn't posted anything in A+S for a while. Is this where all the trolls hang out now that Trollheim is closed ?
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Old 12-30-22, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer
.
...I hadn't posted anything in A+S for a while. Is this where all the trolls hang out now that Trollheim is closed ?
I'm sure that this forum has its share of trolls.

OTOH I'm equally sure that there are some (many?) here with legitimate differences of opinion about how best to help improve bicyclist safety.

Calling folks trolls is sometimes (but not always) evidence that one is a troll himself (or herself).
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Old 12-30-22, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY

OTOH I'm equally sure that there are some (many?) here with legitimate differences of opinion about how best to help improve bicyclist safety.
...since we're on the subject, why do you keep arguing that we can only improve cyclists' personal safety by some sort of personal campaign for education. Me, I can walk and chew gum at the same time. What's your rationale for the preclusion of the sorts of automotive design changes, and redesign of infrastructure to reflect much of the rest of the first world, here in America ? You can still teach personal safety to your maximum personal ability. I certainly won't be the one stopping you.

I think the technical term here is false dilemma, and it's usually categorized as a logical fallacy.

Originally Posted by FBinNY
Calling folks trolls is sometimes (but not always) evidence that one is a troll himself (or herself).
...I calls 'em like I sees 'em.
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Old 12-30-22, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer
...What's your rationale for the preclusion of the sorts of automotive design changes, and redesign of infrastructure to reflect much of the rest of the first world, here in America ? .....
Since you like logic, this is an example of reasoning from a false assumption.

I never argue that the ONLY way is
...(anything).

It's simply that I prefer to focus MY efforts where I feel they'll do the most good. Anyone else is free to focus their efforts however they wish.

FWIW back in the Bronze Age, I was very active in the nascent bike advocacy movement here in NYC long before bicycling was anything close to being popular. We had limited objectives, and a good track record, including securing access to key NYC bridges and permission to bring bikes on mass transit. I still consider myself a bike advocate, but don't consider posting about that here worthwhile.

Consider that most threads and posts are sort of pointless victimology "drivers are murderers), tirades about how other places are better, or simply preaching to the choir.

Let's be real nothing said here will change anything. If you're serious about change you need to work with the people that can make that happen.

So, I'll continue to work with my contacts that can actually change anything, and (here) to try to directly help people stay safe on the roads they have to ride on.

And. I assume, I'll continue taking criticism for blaming victims and/or not being loyal enough to the cause.

Last edited by FBinNY; 12-30-22 at 07:27 PM.
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Old 12-30-22, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
Whenever I see stat reports like this, I remind myself of the story of the statistician who drowned in a river with an average depth of 3 feet.

While number do tell a story, it's easy to misunderstand the story they tell. There are all sorts of factors which can affect the numbers, so any effort to draw conclusions must include a careful analysis to see the story behind the story.

I remember the reports of declining murder rates in major US cities many decades back. It looked like great news until it was noted that the attempted murder rates went up over the same period. Turns out that emergency response and treatment improved so the odds of survival improved.

In any case, we don't individually live or die based on statistics. What matters is what we each do to in our daily lives.
...this was your first post in the thread ^^^ So I find it difficult to believe that in the same thread, you would make this statement.

Originally Posted by FBinNY
Since you like logic, this is an example of reasoning from a false assumption.

I never argue that the ONLY way is
...(anything).
Originally Posted by FBinNY
It's simply that I prefer to focus MY efforts where I feel they'll do the most good. Anyone else is free to focus their efforts however they wish.

FWIW back in the Bronze Age, I was very active in the nascent bike advocacy movement here in NYC long before bicycling was anything close to being popular. We had limited objectives, and a good track record, including securing access to key NYC bridges and permission to bring bikes on mass transit. I still consider myself a bike advocate, but don't consider posting about that here worthwhile.
In addition, I have, as yet, to see any attempt to analyze the stats presented originally. Only statements that you don't believe the suggestions in that original article link will result in any improvement in the United States, "because we are different". Since we're going historical, the guy who started Sacramento Bicycle Advocates was a great believer in bike lanes as a mark of progress here. So we have miles and miles of bicycle lanes that are striped off on streets that are too narrow for them to accommodate both a stream of cars traveling at 30-40 mph, and the bicycles of the people who have not yet figured out those bike lanes are dangerous. I liked the guy, but he was immune to the idea that maybe multiple miles of bike lanes on every street in the city was not a mark of progress. Whenever I brought up in discussions alternative models, like you see in Portland, that seem to work better, by selecting out certain east-west or north-south streets and dedicating them more toward bicycle routes, by prohibiting or inhibiting through automotive traffic on them, I was ignored.

This conversation with you is somewhat reminiscent of those "discussions" . I can only say, once more, that the way bicycle infrastructure is designed has a direct bearing on how many people get killed using it.



Originally Posted by FBinNY
Consider that most threads and posts are sort of pointless victimology "drivers are murderers), tirades about how other places are better, or simply preaching to the choir.

Let's be real nothing said here will change anything. If you're serious about change you need to work with the people that can make that happen.
...I drive all the time here, when I'm not riding a bike to get somewhere. I drive enough to know that all drivers are not murderers.

Why in the world would you think that I have not been involved in working here with the people who can make this stuff happen ? I have e-mail chains on certain issues with regard to bicycle stuff with the city councilman's assistant and several other city agencies that go on for a couple of years on at least one issue, of the city recycling trucks sprinkling the bike lanes with tiny colored glass shards, every time they ran the route. I'm pretty familiar with the political process, and what it takes to engender change that costs money.

I even showed up for some photo op awards ceremony back in my co-op management core days, from some unheard of state agency, and I hate those things. There was a free lunch, though, so not a total loss.

Meanwhile, I didn't start this thread as some exercise in victimization. I found the original article to be of some interest, doubtless because it confirms some of my own opinions, based on a lot of miles on city streets here and back in D.C. It's insulting that you would construe it as such on only the strength of your own personal prejudice. If you want to argue the point in the original article, that we are killing more people on foot and on bicycles in the United States than the rest of the first world nations, feel free to do so. But please do better at addressing the real content. Feel free to reread it before you reply.



Originally Posted by FBinNY
And. I assume, I'll continue taking criticism for blaming victims and/or not being loyal enough to the cause.
...probably you will. Try not to personalize it into another form of victimization.
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Old 12-30-22, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
Calling folks trolls is sometimes (but not always) evidence that one is a troll himself (or herself).
And/or evidence of intolerence of opinions that differ from the self righteous posters who play the "troll" card in order to control discussion.
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Old 12-30-22, 10:41 PM
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For the record, I'm not the one who is personalizing anything.

However, I do post things that some people might disagree with. If they, (or apparently in this case, you) take disagreement personally, please don't project that on me.

I understand, that there are people who very sincerely believe in things like separated bike lanes, and are very frustrated that the USA is so far behind the curve, but I didn't build this country, and am not responsible for the way roads here are designed.

Apparently, some folks here on BF believe that any acceptance of reality, and adapting to it, implies opposition to change. That's on them, and I can't help that.

So, I'll continue to focus on the safety issues, and those who don't tolerate disagreement can continue to flame me.

Last edited by FBinNY; 12-30-22 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 12-31-22, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer
...I'm just tired of being told that my failure to make myself as visible as is humanly possible on a bicycle, (which I try to do), is a legit excuse for someone in a large truck, step van, or even a larger SUV can kill me without much consequence, when there are technical solutions to many blind spot issues readily available and on the shelf. I drove big, articulated fire trucks for many years. The techno-solutions were not available then, but I managed not to squash anyone....possibly only through good luck.
There are a lot of people who believe that a cyclist's visibility or lack thereof will influence a motorist's decision making process, but I think the two are mutually exclusive. I believe it boils down to one's approach to driving. I can recall numerous instances where I was driving a car with a passenger, and I was able to spot a cyclist while the passenger didn't. The cyclist's visibility varied in each instance. I saw the cyclists because I was primed to look for them. This is a good reason why we need to stress better infrastructure and education simultaneously. Good infrastructure makes it physically impractical to drive like an idiot, and good education influences a person's overall approach to driving. The philosophy behind motor vehicle driving should be more like the Coast Guard's "Rules of the Road" book where you're taught to prioritize vulnerable vessels first, large vessels that can't maneuver well second, and everyone else last.

Originally Posted by JoeyBike
My theory is that cycling is a popular, affordable, easy to enter sport that does not require any experience or training in order to indulge oneself. It is highly likely for a novice to venture out on their new bike all fat, happy, and $t00pid and without a care in the world only to find out the sport is potentially deadly - the hard way. The sheer number of cyclists runs the odds up of the mentally or physically weak herd member becoming a hood ornament or door mat eventually.

Other potentially deadly activities:

Driving a car: Instruction, tests, and licensing along with some supervised practice. (And STILL many of them suck at driving)

Sky Diving: Intense instruction, supervised practice.

Scuba Diving: Intense instruction, supervised practice, licensing, buddy system.

Cycling: Acquire a bike, GO!
If a sky diver, scuba diver, cyclist, or walker makes a series of stupid decisions, who dies? Typically it's just that sky diver, scuba diver, cyclist, or walker. Rarely does a cyclist's negligence result in the death of another person.

If a motor vehicle driver makes a series of stupid decisions, who dies? Possibly the driver and often other people. I say possibly for the driver, because the advent of seat belts, front/side airbags, crumple zones, and cross beams in the doors have effectively removed the bulk of physical consequences for idiotic driving. Frankly, we don't go far enough with skills demonstration. There should be mandatory road testing every X number of years. In the US it's typical not to completely lose your license unless you've gotten three DUIs or have killed someone. That is patently absurd. Cyclists were doing okay until the advent of automobiles that were affordable to the masses and fast enough to kill people.

We sorely need national driving standards and laws, because there is way too much variation between individual states, particularly regarding how motor vehicles and bicycles share the roads. In the KC metro where I am there is plenty of variation on both a state and city level for cyclist lane positioning, mandatory/optional use of shoulders, mandatory/optional use of bike lanes, safe passing distance by an automobile, riding on sidewalks, and use of mobile devices. To an average motorist who never bikes, it would be baffling if they read all the differences.

Originally Posted by 1979schwinn
As far as statistics, remember USA has 350 M people.
In Russia people fall out windows.
In Soviet Russia, window opens YOU.

Originally Posted by FBinNY
Apparently, some folks here on BF believe that any acceptance of reality, and adapting to it, implies opposition to change. That's on them, and I can't help that.
But if you're already riding carefully, following the traffic laws, avoiding dangerous roads, and contacting your legislatures to make changes, what is the alternative? Stop biking?
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Old 12-31-22, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer
...What's your explanation for the significant differences in fatality rates between America and the other countries in the OP data base results?
Infrastructure, education, attitude. IMO
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Old 12-31-22, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by JW Fas
...if you're already riding carefully, following the traffic laws...
In my city, if you are following traffic laws you are definitely NOT riding carefully.
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Old 12-31-22, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by JW Fas
There are a lot of people who believe that a cyclist's visibility or lack thereof will influence a motorist's decision making process, but I think the two are mutually exclusive. I believe it boils down to one's approach to driving. I can recall numerous instances where I was driving a car with a passenger, and I was able to spot a cyclist while the passenger didn't. The cyclist's visibility varied in each instance. I saw the cyclists because I was primed to look for them. This is a good reason why we need to stress better infrastructure and education simultaneously.
Stressing infrastructure and education together - hear, hear! This should be the obvious approach.

I have a hard time with the idea that cyclist visibility is separate from motorist decision-making, though. A driver can't possibly make decisions for how to handle a cyclist they can't see. When I'm out riding I'm grateful for drivers like you who are looking out for cyclists, but I increase my visibility because there are drivers like your passenger who are paying less attention. The more visible I make myself, the more chances there are for a driver to see me and avoid me. I don't currently have a high-vis vest but have been meaning to buy one.
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Old 01-01-23, 03:24 PM
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I quit commuting my last year before retirement because reckless driving.

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Old 01-01-23, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer
...sure. What's your explanation for the significant differences in fatality rates between America and the other countries in the OP data base results ?
Are Europeans imposing training requirements on their pedestrians and cyclists of which I'm unaware ? Can they get away with this because those people are just smarter than Americans ?
The ratio of cars and car-accessible roads to cyclists and pedestrians is very different between the US and Europe. A lot of behavior comes from exposure - if bikes seem like a rare oddity on most roads in the US, drivers aren't going to look for them or respect the dangers attached to them.

There are many roads in Europe where you can't even drive a car, and almost none in the US. Bicycle commuting is extremely common in much of Europe, relatively low density even in big US cities.

You can't talk about attitudes and behavior while ignoring the actual structural differences. Regardless of how many additional bikes are on US roads, it is still not the same level as Europe.
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