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Why Canadians cycle more than Americans: A comparative analysis of bicycling trends and policies

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  • Pucher, John
  • Buehler, Ralph

Abstract

In spite of their colder climate, Canadians cycle about three times more than Americans. The main reasons for this difference are Canada's higher urban densities and mixed-use development, shorter trip distances, lower incomes, higher costs of owning, driving and parking a car, safer cycling conditions, and more extensive cycling infrastructure and training programs. Most of these factors result from differences between Canada and the United States in their transport and land-use policies, and not from intrinsic differences in history, culture or resource availability. That is good news, since it suggests the possibility of significantly increasing cycling levels in the United States by adopting some of the Canadian policies that have so effectively promoted cycling and enhanced its safety.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:13:y:2006:i:3:p:265-279
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    1. Shoup, Donald, 1999. "Instead of Free Parking," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt58898049, University of California Transportation Center.
    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. Pucher, J. & Dijkstra, L., 2003. "Promoting Safe Walking and Cycling to Improve Public Health: Lessons from The Netherlands and Germany," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 93(9), pages 1509-1516.
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