Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons from The Netherlands, Denmark and Germany
The Netherlands, Denmark and Germany have made bicycling a safe, convenient and practical way to get around their cities. The key to achieving high levels of cycling appears to be the provision of separate cycling facilities along heavily travelled roads and at intersections, combined with traffic calming of most residential neighbourhoods.
This is the firm believe of John Pucher, professor of planning and publicpPolicy of the Rutgers University ( New Jersey, USA). According to Pucher extensive cycling rights of way in the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany are complemented by ample bike parking, full integration with public transport, comprehensive traffic education and training of both cyclists and motorists, and a wide range of promotional events intended to generate enthusiasm and wide public support for cycling. In addition to their many pro-bike policies and programmes, the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany make driving expensive as well as inconvenient in central cities through a host of taxes and restrictions on car ownership, use and parking.
Moreover, strict land-use policies foster compact, mixed-use developments that generate shorter and thus more bikeable trips. It is the coordinated implementation of this multifaceted, mutually reinforcing set of policies that best explains the success of these three countries in promoting cycling.
See a comprehensive lecture on the subject on this Youtube video.