(photo by Flickr user Willyf)
The Dutch blog, A View from the Cycle Path, thoroughly dismantles the “high density needed for successful bicycle infrastructure” argument, by highlighting the fact that infrastructure alone is all that is needed for increasing ridership. By example, the author uses his home city of Assen, which has no large universities or colleges, a density half that of Dallas, and a 41% rate of trips by bicycle. More from the article:
“It’s perhaps interesting to note that the highest cycling rates in much of the Netherlands are actually in the North of the country, in the least densely populated areas, where journey lengths are often a bit longer. It’s not population density which really makes the difference in cycling rates, but infrastructure which makes cycling into an obvious option. It has to be the most convenient, pleasant and safe way to get about. That’s why 93% of the Dutch population ride a bike at least once a week.”
Head over to Google Maps street view, and drop the street guy on any arterial street (in yellow), and see how the planners in Assen develop their roads in comparison to our own. It’s easy to see why ridership is so high…they’ve made it simple, and irresistable.