IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Bicycling renaissance in North America? An update and re-appraisal of cycling trends and policies

  • Pucher, John
  • Buehler, Ralph
  • Seinen, Mark
Registered author(s):

    This paper reviews trends in cycling levels, safety, and policies in Canada and the USA over the past two decades. We analyze aggregate data for the two countries as well as city-specific case study data for nine large cities (Chicago, Minneapolis, Montréal, New York, Portland, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver, and Washington). Cycling levels have increased in both the USA and Canada, while cyclist fatalities have fallen. There is much spatial variation and socioeconomic inequality in cycling rates. The bike share of work commuters is more than twice as high in Canada as in the USA, and is higher in the western parts of both countries. Cycling is concentrated in central cities, especially near universities and in gentrified neighborhoods near the city center. Almost all the growth in cycling in the USA has been among men between 25-64Â years old, while cycling rates have remained steady among women and fallen sharply for children. Cycling rates have risen much faster in the nine case study cities than in their countries as a whole, at least doubling in all the cities since 1990. They have implemented a wide range of infrastructure and programs to promote cycling and increase cycling safety: expanded and improved bike lanes and paths, traffic calming, parking, bike-transit integration, bike sharing, training programs, and promotional events. We describe the specific accomplishments of the nine case study cities, focusing on each city's innovations and lessons for other cities trying to increase cycling. Portland's comprehensive package of cycling policies has succeeded in raising cycling levels 6-fold and provides an example that other North American cities can follow.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0965856411000474
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice.

    Volume (Year): 45 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 6 (July)
    Pages: 451-475

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:45:y:2011:i:6:p:451-475
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/547/description#description

    Order Information: Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional
    Web: https://shop.elsevier.com/order?id=547&ref=547_01_ooc_1&version=01

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Su, Jason G. & Winters, Meghan & Nunes, Melissa & Brauer, Michael, 2010. "Designing a route planner to facilitate and promote cycling in Metro Vancouver, Canada," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 495-505, August.
    2. Pucher, John & Komanoff, Charles & Schimek, Paul, 1999. "Bicycling renaissance in North America?: Recent trends and alternative policies to promote bicycling," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 33(7-8), pages 625-654.
    3. Vandenbulcke, Grégory & Dujardin, Claire & Thomas, Isabelle & Geus, Bas de & Degraeuwe, Bart & Meeusen, Romain & Panis, Luc Int, 2011. "Cycle commuting in Belgium: Spatial determinants and 're-cycling' strategies," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 118-137, February.
    4. John Parkin & Mark Wardman & Matthew Page, 2008. "Estimation of the determinants of bicycle mode share for the journey to work using census data," Transportation, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 93-109, January.
    5. Jensen, Søren Underlien, 2008. "How to obtain a healthy journey to school," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 475-486, March.
    6. Susan Blickstein & Susan Hanson, 2001. "Critical mass: forging a politics of sustainable mobility in the information age," Transportation, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 347-362, November.
    7. Smart, Michael, 2010. "US immigrants and bicycling: Two-wheeled in Autopia," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 153-159, May.
    8. J. Hunt & J. Abraham, 2007. "Influences on bicycle use," Transportation, Springer, vol. 34(4), pages 453-470, July.
    9. Wardman, Mark & Tight, Miles & Page, Matthew, 2007. "Factors influencing the propensity to cycle to work," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 339-350, May.
    10. McCann, Barbara & McRee, Lanier & Handy, Susan L & Meharg, Emily & Bailey, Linda & Ewing, Reid & Ernst, Michelle & Wright, Kate, 2009. "The Regional Response to Federal Fundingfor Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects: Executive Summary," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt24r3f8h2, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    11. Martens, Karel, 2007. "Promoting bike-and-ride: The Dutch experience," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 326-338, May.
    12. Gatersleben, Birgitta & Appleton, Katherine M., 2007. "Contemplating cycling to work: Attitudes and perceptions in different stages of change," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 302-312, May.
    13. Givoni, Moshe & Rietveld, Piet, 2007. "The access journey to the railway station and its role in passengers' satisfaction with rail travel," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 357-365, September.
    14. Brons, Martijn & Givoni, Moshe & Rietveld, Piet, 2009. "Access to railway stations and its potential in increasing rail use," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 136-149, February.
    15. Nankervis, Max, 1999. "The effect of weather and climate on bicycle commuting," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 417-431, August.
    16. Kevin Krizek & Ahmed El-Geneidy & Kristin Thompson, 2007. "A detailed analysis of how an urban trail system affects cyclists’ travel," Transportation, Springer, vol. 34(5), pages 611-624, September.
    17. VANDENBULCKE, Grégory & THOMAS, Isabelle & de GEUS, Bas & DEGRAEUWE, Bart, . "Mapping bicycle use and the risk of accidents for commuters who cycle to work in Belgium," CORE Discussion Papers RP -2097, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    18. Rose, Geoff & Marfurt, Heidi, 2007. "Travel behaviour change impacts of a major ride to work day event," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 351-364, May.
    19. Bergström, A. & Magnusson, R., 2003. "Potential of transferring car trips to bicycle during winter," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 649-666, October.
    20. Tilahun, Nebiyou Y. & Levinson, David M. & Krizek, Kevin J., 2007. "Trails, lanes, or traffic: Valuing bicycle facilities with an adaptive stated preference survey," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 287-301, May.
    21. Rietveld, Piet & Daniel, Vanessa, 2004. "Determinants of bicycle use: do municipal policies matter?," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 531-550, August.
    22. Pucher, John & Buehler, Ralph, 2006. "Why Canadians cycle more than Americans: A comparative analysis of bicycling trends and policies," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 265-279, May.
    23. Orenstein, Marla R. & Gutierrez, Nicolas & Rice, Thomas M. & Cooper, Jill F. & Ragland, David R., 2007. "Safe Routes to School Safety and Mobility Analysis," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt5455454c, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    24. Handy, Susan L & McCann, Barbara & Bailey, Linda & Ernst, Michelle & McRee, Lanier & Meharg, Emily & Ewing, Reid & Wright, Kate, 2009. "The Regional Response to Federal Funding for Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt26j7x815, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    25. Menghini, G. & Carrasco, N. & Schüssler, N. & Axhausen, K.W., 2010. "Route choice of cyclists in Zurich," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 44(9), pages 754-765, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:45:y:2011:i:6:p:451-475. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.