We Must Promote Bicycle Use in Urban Centres Essay

1107 Words 5 Pages
Many growing cities of the twenty-first century have a common problem: the overwhelming favouritism of cars over other, more environmentally friendly and less congestive methods of travel. Cars in large numbers cause traffic issues, accidents, and pollution [1]. The bicycle is among the most popular solutions to these problems, as bicycles are cheap for the user, healthy, and are a form of sustainable transportation. The two primary things to consider when encouraging bicycle usage are the cost and viability of implementation and the overall effectiveness of the solution [2, 3]. Considering this, the most influential factors affecting the bicycle’s modal share seem to be infrastructure and public initiatives to encourage bicycle use; of …show more content…
This is due to a variety of reasons, the chief among them being safety and convenience [3].

Safety is a major concern for bicyclists, and with good reason; bicyclists are exposed to potential traffic accidents without some infrastructure to separate cars from bicycles. In 2009, 630 bicyclists were killed in traffic crashes in the United States [5]. This number seems to be decreasing, though (down from 816 in 1993 [6]), as bicycle infrastructure develops; there is a positive correlation between bicycle safety and developed bicycle infrastructure [6] that suggests the decrease in bicycle-related deaths is due to developed bicycle infrastructure.

The other great advantage bicycle infrastructure offers is convenience; a good example of this is having showers at common bicycle destinations. Time is, unsurprisingly, the number one factor that dictates bicycle use from a convenience standpoint [7]. An Edmonton based study found that bicycle appeal is greatly correlated with trip length; the longer the trip is, the less appealing the bicycle is compared to other forms of travel [7]. However, people are willing to cycle for longer in safe traffic than unsafe traffic: “for the typical cyclist, 1-min cycling in mixed traffic is as onerous as 4.1 min on bike lanes or 2.8 min on bike paths [7]”. The inclusion of theft-safe bicycle parking was found to make cyclists much more willing to cycle

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