This month — and alongside some research of our own – two significant resources on cycling jumped out at me. One is a new book called City Cycling, which reports on trends and innovations in bicycling from North America, Europe and Australia. The other is a special issue of the Transportation Research Board’s publication TR News called Walking and Cycling in Western Europe and the United States: Trends, Policies, and Lessons.
An interesting common thread? Both are co-authored by the dynamic duo of Dr. John Pucher of Rutgers University and Dr. Ralph Buehler of Virginia Tech.
Both pieces make a research-based case for bicycling—that its significant growth has brought along a pile of health and environmental benefits, time and cost savings and a real transformation of communities into great places to live.
Both the book and the article go into some detail about specific tools that cities can use to grow cycling by make it safe, convenient and comfortable for everyone—even irresistible, as John Pucher has been known to put it. And integrating programs, infrastructure and government policies is a notable conclusion of theirs, validating an approach that Cascade has taken for some time.
Nothing could be more critical to understand right now, particularly when new plans and transportation visions are being developed and when cities and citizens are starving for these kinds of important investments. For example (and for those who may have missed it), last week Cascade launched our 2012 Seattle Bicycle Report Card, which is intended to paint a picture of how things could be, assessing Seattle’s progress and measuring it up against other cities across the country. Research like ours and research like Pucher’s and Buehler’s shows what we know works and what we know we have to do.
Now we just need to do it.
So once you’ve put these articles and our report card down, it’s time to keep pushing for progress around the region. Whether it be the statewide transportation budget or the update of the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan, join us in the movement—and maybe Pucher and Buehler will end up writing about our success someday.