John Pucher, Charles Komanoff, and Paul Schimek, in their article, "Bicycling
Renaissance in North America: Recent Trends and Alternative Policies to Promote
Bicycling," (Transportation Research A, Vol. 33, Nos. 7/8, September/November 1999,
pp. 625-654) provide a great review of bicycle use, safety, roadway design, the influence
of ISTEA and TEA21, and through case studies of six U.S. and one Canadian city, factors
affecting cycling and provide steps to encourage cycling.
Over the past two decades, the number of bicycle trips in the United States has
doubled. Since 48% of trips by all modes in American cities are shorter than three miles,
the potential for further growth in bicycling seems enormous. So far, efforts to promote
bicycling have focused on building bike paths and bike lanes. Although necessary, separate
cycling facilities must be complemented by a comprehensive program to make all roads
bikeable, through both physical adaptations and enforcement of cyclists' right to use the
road. It seems likely that cycling will continue to grow in North America, but that its
mode share will remain far lower than levels in northern Europe. Bicycling in Canada and
especially the United States is impeded by the lack of a tradition of cycling for
utilitarian purposes and by the marginal legal, cultural and infrastructure status of
cyclists in both countries' automobile-based transport systems. As long as car use remains
cheap and transportation policy remains dominated by motoring, bicycles will continue to
be used primarily for recreation and not for daily urban travel in North America.
The article is based on a nationwide, aggregate analysis as well as detailed case
studies of cycling trends and policies in seven case study cities: Toronto (CA), Seattle
(WI), San Francisco, Davis (CA), New York City, Boston/Cambridge, and Madison (WI).
Anyone interested in obtaining copies of the article should contact any one of the
three authors directly at the following email addresses:
John Pucher email@example.com
Charles Komanoff firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Schimek email@example.com
The authors can send you either a PDF computer file of the article (needs adobe/acrobat
program on your computer to download) or the corresponding Word 7.0 files (one for text,
one for table). Most university libraries subscribe to Transportation Research A, so you
can also find it there in hard copy form.
The three authors would be pleased to hear reactions of readers to the article, so
please feel free to contact them with your comments, as well as to get a copy of the
article if you haven't had access to it yet.
Up to Top | Printer-friendly version of this page