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John Pucher Transcript

[Update: The formal paper backing this presentation has now been published here (PDF).]

OK - the main transcript (draft 1) for the SFU video is done. I’m moving onto the Q&A, now.

There are 16 segments, below - each 5 minutes, except for the 16th segment, which is only about 3 minutes. They’re fairly accurate. A few typos and mispellings and whatnot, and there will be a decent amount of interpretation of various parts - either particular words, or gestures or laughing or whatever.

Segment 1:

Well as you can see from the title of my presentation I would like to present to you some ideas of policies and programs that cities in Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark use to promote cycling - to make cycling safe, convenient, attractive and possible for everyone. And when I say everyone, I mean everyone.

For women, as well as men, for either young for the old for the middle aged for adolescents — even for people to some extent with disabilities to the extent that it’s possible we need to also facilitate cycling for people with disabilities. Various income levels, various degrees of skills.

So, that is certainly the goal that is set by cities and also by the countries themselves in the Netherlands, in Denmark and in Germany. Cycling is not seen there as being just for young men. It is not seen as being something of people with a very high degree of physical ability. It not seen as being something for people who are extremely risky - they love cycling on busy streets with lots of traffic. It is seen as being something as a practical way to get around. Sure for recreation as well, but for the most part, for daily travel for going shopping, for going to school, for visiting friends, for a whole range of daily activities, so these Dutch/Danish/German cities - they really set as a goal - making cycling possible for everyone.

And i would argue, as you know translink is coming up with the new bike plan for the metropolitan area here, Vancouver. and i would argue that one of the most appropriate goals in that plan would in fact be to make cycling possible for everyone. Convenient. make people comfortable cycling. Whether you’ve old or younger. whether you’re a women or a man. No matter what your social status might be. So, on the one hand, i think that ought to be one goal, making cycling possible for everyone, and at the same time, by the way, by making cycling possible for everyone, you’re also going to increase the overall share of trips by bike. I don’t know of a single country anywhere in the world, that has an extremely high level of cycling where cycling is not for everyone. And so, if you want to achieve the goal of the high overall mode share of bikes, then you also have to achieve simultaneously the goal of making cycling possible for everyone. So this is why i put this, as for of the title of the presentation, it’s also as expressed by one of my own value judgements. i really am very very passionately dedicated to environmental sustainability and to social justice, and i think as part of this aspect of social justice, I think it’s really really important to make cycling possible for everyone.

[<Messing with slide projector> Why isn't it going forward? Oh, there we go. Laughs.]

We want to make cycling possible for everyone, but another possible title of this presentation would be ‘everyone for cycling’. and it’s important to get the support of everyone in society for cycling because you need that political and public support to get the financing, to get the space, to get the time, to get traffic priority, for example, at various intersections for cyclists, to take away car lanes and turn them into bicycling paths, to take away car parking and turn it into bike parking.

You really need a tremendous amount of public support for that to occur, and that is one of the keys to the success of cycling policies and programs in Dutch, German, and Danish cities.  There are many many many strategies we need to all be thinking about and promoting and marketing to the public as a whole as to why everyone should be in favor of cycling. And it’s really important for one thing - cycling is one of a range of alternatives to the car that improves mobility options for everyone. It means you’re less likely - it’s just one more thing - you can walk, you can cycle, you can take public transportation.

It’s one of the three environmental modes of transportation and it increases our ability to avoid car dependency - it gives us - we got one more alternative, especially for medium-distance trips - say one kilometer two kilometers, three four kilometers. For many people that might seem a little bit too far to walk, but it’s a perfect distance for cycling, say between one, three, four kilometers, and so by making cycling convenient and safe it really does and and especially to the extent it should make it possible for all segments of society - it really does, give everyone increased mobility options. and so i would argue…

Segment 2:

It really does and especially to the extent that you make it it possible fo rall segments of society it really does give everyone increased mobility options.

And so i would argue that the public as a whole and politicians should support cycling because it really does enrich the mobility options for everbody.

Second — it certainly, by making conditions safer for cyclists, by removing cars form the street, by discouraging people driving through the centers of cities and through residential neighborhoods, it’s certainly going to make our neighborhoods safer and more liveable as well.

Public health - one of Larry’s - Larry’s here (??) - clearly, there’s no question, both in Canada and the United States, we desperately need to integrate more physical activity into our daily lifestyles. You can not depend on people going to the gym or using the the exercise euipment they have in their basements on a dialy basis, it’s just not going to happen. You will always find an excuse not to go to the gym, not to use the exercise equipement, not to go to the track, but if you, on and everyday basis, are cycling to get to work to go to shopping to visit friends, or for whatever  reason, you’re going to automatically get that physcial activity and it’s gonna give you imrpovemed mental healthy, physical health, it’s great of ryou. and in that repssect at swell, t’s reathr for public health and that’s omething tha tthe public as a whole and politicans should be supporitng.

And not only does it directly improve public health, it then reduces health care costs, and so, even as taxpayers or as contributors to…to medical insurance plans, you’ve benefiting even if you’re not cycling yourself if you can increase the percentages of trips by cycling, you’re going to increase overall health levels and reduce health care expenditures.

Obviously, environmental advantages, if you’re cycling you’re not really creating any air pollution or water polution, environmetnal impacts of any kind, destuction of ecyosystems, almost nothing used in the way of nonrenewable resources in making or using a bike.

Reduced traffic congestion, reduced parking needs, reduced energy use. Wow! Those are a lot of weapons in your arsenal to get that public and political support and you need to use every single one of them. We really do need more funding more space for our cycling facilities to really make them first class a real network of cycling facilities but you need to use all of thes earguemtns. I’m really convienced we havne’t don enough to ge thtis msg thru to the public and to the pols to get that truly widespread public and political support for cycling.

And then the last one, remember Kyoto? <laughs> We seem to have forgotten it in the u.s., - i think you’re much more onto it here in Canada, but it’s clearly one thing that we need to work on. I mean if for no other reason, and there’s many many many reasons, there’s certinlahy one of eight ten whatever reasons for why the public as a whole should in fact be supporting cycling.

[<slides> - oops - wrong direction]

Now, the good news is, there’s lot of potential for increased cycling. Many many many trips here in greater Vancouver are short enough to cover by bike. Each individual has different distances you’re willing or able to cycle — we’re talking about roughly a third to a fourth of all trips right here in greater Vancouver are certainly short enough to cycle. You have a third of all trips shorter than three kilometers, a fourth of all trips shorter than two kilometers, those are really easy distances to bike. So, the good news is there’s a huge potential for more cycling here in greater Vancouver.

And the other good news is, and I will show you this, I’ve already claimed it several times, but the other good news is almost everyone has the potential to cycle, both the physical and I suppose even the mental potential to cycle. It’s certianly possible tru…that at almost every age and again I’ll show you later that it’s true - it is physically possible at almost every age. Women can certainly cycle as well as men, and if you don’t believe that I’ll show you some really great women cyclists. <laughs> I mean, women can cycle ever bit as good as men, if not better.

Cycling is possible for a wide range of skills. you don’t have to be Lance Armstrong to get on a bike. You really don’t - maybe some people are going to cycle very slowly for short distances, that’s fine - but there’s a wide range of skills that allow you to cycle in differnt conditions. And it’s also affordable by anyone - I don’t know anyone who’s gone broke - well, I guess you could buy a really expensive bike and then have it stolen several times, but for the most part you can even get a bike for a very very low amount of money and it certianly doesn’t cost much to operate and maintain, so it’s certainly in that respect…

Segment 3:

But for the most part, you can get a bike for a very very low money, and it certianaly doesn’t cost much money to operate and mainstain so in that respect it’s a very socially sustainable.

That is, bicycling is something that is possible and affordable by a very wide range of the population and and that’s what i would refer to as social sustainablility. So we alreay know it ‘s arleayd  environmentally sustainb,ale but it’s also sociallly sustainable, and it’ also economically sustainable.

These are the three dimsension of sustaianablity: economicallly sustainability, evvironmental sustainability, and then social sustainability.

And at ever single index, cycling is about the most sustainable of all your transportaiton modes.

But unforutantley, we don’t do enough of it in North America.

We do even less in the United States than here in Canada. You’re at about two percent, the United States is actually somewhat less than one percent but as you look at these different countries, the main point that I’d like to make with this slide, was to show you just how much potential there is for increased cycling.

Rather than looking at it from a depressing point of view, say ohhhhh - Canada is so low…look at it goo…ooooh, you could go so much higher. Let’s look at it in a positive way.

Look at the Netherlands — 27% trips by bike and if you look at just local trips it’s 35%. And in some cities it goes to 45%. In a….Denmark we have about 20% of all trips by bike. Look at Germany, Belgium, Finland, roughly 10-12% occurs by bike. These countries are not poor coutnries. these are not developing countries. they are not backward countries. they are not technologically-undeveloped countries. Danes and Germans and the Dutch are cycling becuase cycling there is fast, convenient, it is a practical and safe way to get around. They can afford cars, they are not cycling because they are poor. And the reason they’re cycling is because the policies and the programs that are in place in their cities makes cycling a practical and feasible thing to do. Again, I would just like…just look at the difference there. It’s a difference  to 10 to 1, 30 to 1 in some cases. Much much much higher levers of cycling in these northenrn european countries in particular.

And so, that might lead you to ask the question, ‘Well, what are those coutnries doing that makes so much more cycling possible?’

And I’ll go through those polices. Now, the other thing I wanted to note here is, some of you might think i really think that cycling can be, is really only successful when it really doe smake it opssible for all groups in society when i see a lot of woemn in cycling, well that’s a good indicator.

And in fact, in this slide, this is my colleague’s Susan Handy at the University of CA Davis, took this shot last summer in Copenhagen, and you can see there are more women there than men cycling.

No one’s wearing a helmet by the way, I’ll make a comment about that later. But you’ll see someone wearing a helmet.  There’s no special lyrca. They’re not riding fancy bikes.

Those are perfectly normal people; they could be your nest door neighbor, or your friend, your wife, your daughter, your mother, grandmother. - whether i cugess not your grandmother - they don’t look like grandmotehrs to me, but at any rate, clearly in places such as Denamrk, Germany, the Netherlands, women cycl every bit as much as men, and in fact, in the Neterhland, they cycle even more.

55% of all bike trips in the Netherlands are by women. In Germany, it’s 49% and denamark is 45%, but rougly just say 50/50, roughly as many womena as men cycle, if you look at Canada it’s 30%, United States is even lower, 25%, and then really low in austlria, 21%. I guess in Australia, cycling is more of a macho sort of a thing.

But at any rate…

Again, just to show you that those of you who think that cycling is inevitably more for men than for women, it’s just wrong. It depends on the facilities you provide, and if you provide safe and convenient cycling facilities, you will get as many women cycling as men.

In terms of age groups, you can certainly start cycling at a very young age, and continue to do it until you’re very old. And i got a tell a story that I’m not allowed to tell you .show you the next graph. The man, his name is Kroe Vanderclough (??) who’s the bicycling coordinator for Coorhodinskf (??) in the Netherlands, said, ‘I want you to tell everyone in your audience, that my moter is 94 years old and she cycles every day to do her shopping and it’s about a kilometer back and forth to the shopping because she thinks it’s a waste of energy to get there any other way. So , those of you who think you can’t cyclist when you’re over 90, you’re wrong. And in fact this next graphic, demonstrates that nubmer. You can see here when you look at Germany, Denmark….

Segment 4:

Demonstrates that with numbers.

You can see here in Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, very high percentages of the Germans, the Danes and the Dutch elderly actually cycle. if you look in Germany, what’s really astounding here is as Germans get older and older, in fact they make a higher and higher percentage of their trips by bike.

Look at Denmark, it falls somewhat from 17 percent down to 12 percent. In the Netherlands it goes up again from 22 percent to 24 percent. Clearly the most cycling - the highest percentage by bike - is in the lowest age category, but then after you get through middle age and getting older and older, I think it’s just astounding at how much higher the percentage of bike trips gets as people get older.

Perhaps the most astounding thing in this entire graphic - it’s one of my favotries, it’s why I’m spending so much time on it - if you look at the Dutch elderly, 24% of all trips by the Dutch elderly are going by bike. Now just consider that.

One fourth of all trips by the Dutch elderly - 65 of age 65 and older are by bike, in Denmark 12%, Germany 12% — clearly it is not the case that getting old means you can’t bike. It’s an important very important source of mobility, of independence, of physical activity. I think in every respect, it’s really important to give people this mobility option as they get older and the most important demographic change in our societies in all of North America also in Europe by the way is the aging of our societies. A higher and higher pecentage of our populations are older than 65, older than 75, older than 85, and we need to be thinking about what kind mobility options we’re gonna give those elderly people.

And I know wheh I get older I want to be able to walk and to still cycle and take public transoprtation and not be dependent on the automobile which would be impossible anyway because I can’t drive.

At any rate…

One of thse key approaches that these German, Dutch, and Danish cities take to making cycling possible for everyone is by making it safe. It’s absolutely key. If you do surveys of the general population and you ask them, ‘Why don’t you cycle?’, the number one reason by far is the perception that cycling is unsafe. This is particularly true among the elderly, among the parents of children, among women.

And this is what the surveys..and what they most want when you ask them ‘What would most make you cycle?’ - the answer always, in about 80% ofthe cases, is ‘give us separated facilities. Help us get away — some degree of protection from the motor vehicle traffic, give us good parking faclities, connect it through public tansporation, give us good sort of interchanges through the public, but above all, give us a safe places to cycle. So anyway, increasing the safety of cycling and increasing the perceived safety of cycling is absolutely cruical in cycling policies.

Now, you can look at this either positively or negatively. Ummm…traffic safety, cycling safety, here in Canada is almost three times greater than it is in the United States. Ummm, this is showing the cycling fatality rates per hundred million kilometers cycled - but it’s still about twice what you have in the Netherlands and Denmark, so you could make cycling a lot safer. So on the one hand you can sort of say, whoa whoa whoa, well, we’re doing a lot better than the United States - which is true - well more cycling and safer cycling, and again I think the two things go hand in hand, but you could do a lot better. Cycling could be at least twice as safe as it is now, because you can see how much safer it there and in the Netherlands and in Denmark.

Well this is a rather controverial topic, next one - because I know here in British Columbia, there’s a helmet law, and adults as well as children - everyone is required to wear a helmet when cycling and I certainly when I cycle in New Jersey or anywhere in the United States, I also wera a helmet, but I can tell you the Dutch don’t wear helmets, not even the children the Danes don’t wear helments, and a very very small percentage of…five or ten percent… even, maybe not even that, of Germans wear helmets, so they have much higher degrees of safety in those countries, without wearing helmets. So, at least in those countries, the key to greater cycling safety does not appear to be a helmet, but rather much much safer cycling facilities.

I must say if little bit controveral here, I know, but the director of cycling for the city of Amerstadam, also for the city of Goroeine (??), and for the nationwide cycling federation all said, ‘We’re so much against helment use law because we feel they discourage cycling, they’re not against helmet use, but they are for whatever reason that you can agree with or…..

Segment 5:

Um, another, um, an interesting statistic, here, this is a city, Munster (??), Germany, where I lived for two and a half years, uh, it’s the most cycling-oriented city in all of Germany, about a third of all trips by bike, no one wears helmets, but they have the most extensive and most separate cycling facilities of any German city.

And look at the result here you have one cycling injury per roughly 600,000 trips - not a fatality, an injury - 1 injury per 600,000 bike trips.

Given that statistic, you can understand why everyone in Munster perceives cycling as being totally safe. And perhaps because of that reason, no one wears a helment, but again, totally beside from your views on helmets, I think it’s astounding how safe you can make cycling - that really is the point I would like to make with this slide.

Cyclcing can be extremely safe…if you do the right things.

Moreover, it turns out - a colleague of mine, Peter Jacobsen in California, has done,  a number of peole as well — Terry Ruder (??), Rockster University have done studies and they’ve shown that as cycling levels increase, cycling becomes safer and safer. As cycling levels decrease, cycling become less and less safe. So that if we succeed here, for example, in metropolitan vancouver to reach this goal of 5 percent of trips by bike, currently we’re about 23%, it’s almost inevitable that cycling will become safer. There are two reason for this, I’m still oversimplifying here, but one reason is the more peole who are cycling the higher the likilihood that a motorist will at sometime or other also have been on a bike, and being more sensitive to the needs of cyclists and drive with more consideration and care vis-a-vis cyclists.

The other reason is as more and more poeple cycle, we have more demand and also supply of the necessary cycling facilities, whether that be separate bike paths, bike lanes, bike parking, and so forth. But at any rate, this is a very very important concept I think because those of us who are advocating more cycling often get criticized by saying, ‘Well, on one hand you’re showing us a safety problem here there’s a relatively high fatality rate among cyclists, and yet you’re advocating more cycling — what are you really advocating?’. But the point is you have to understand, as you…if we succeed in raising the cycling mode share, we’re inevitably going to reduce the fatality rate and make cycling safer overall.

Moreover, there was a study done in great britian which showed that whereever the traffic dangers of the public health, of cycling fatalities and injuries, they’ll offset buy a ratio of at least 10:1 by the health benefits of cycling. So, I’m not saying cycling is perfectly safe, but even given the less than perfect cycling facilities we have now and the behavior of motorists, even given those negative situations, that the health benefits, the cardiovascular health benefits of cycling are so great, they they exceed by a ratio of 10 to 1 the risks of cycling.

So again, think about that.

Now, what did these European cities do to promote cycling and make it safer? They completely reversed their pulbic policies in the 1970s., There had been a huge decline in cycling. Many of you probably assume well, cycling’s always been booming in Europe for forever and forever and forever — it’s just not true!

If you look at the 1950′s, the 1960s — huge declines in cycling, 70%, 80%, in some countries even 90% declines in cycling. Why? Because of the increase in car ownershiop, increase in car use, expansion of roadways, and really nothing being done to facilitate walking or cycling, and neglect of the public transit, no efforts to integrate these various lean modes of transportation.

Then what happened in the 1970s, in every single one of these countries, at the city level, at the state level, and at the national level, a complete turnaround of policies. Increasing year by year by year by year — more and more auto restraint policies, restrictions of car parking, traffic calming of residential neighorhoods, car-free zones, more and more of them, and bigger and bigger areas of the car free zones, and at the same time - so there’s a sort of the stick policies, the auto restraint policies — on the other hand, vastly improving public transportation systems, bikeway systems, pedestrian systems, and in particular in terms of cycleways, we have, again, many of you think…

Segment 6:

On the other hand, vastly improving public transportation systems, bikeways sytems, pedestrian systems, and in particular in terms of cycleways we have, again, many of you think, ‘Well, the Netherlands was always perfect for bicycling.’

Not true - they had a tripling - a tripling in their bike lane network between the 1970s and the 1990s - they didn’t ju… - they didn’t have the appropriate facilities back in the 1970s - they trippled the extent of their bikeway nework.

In Germany, also, they tipled the kilometers of their bikeway network and vastly improved it, year by year. Even now they are not sitting on their laurels. Every single year in every single German city I know, in every Dutch, every Danish city, they’re constantly trying to figure out - how can we make these facilities better?

And as a result of doing this by the way, they dramatically increased levels of cycling. These are various German cities, and if you look at the next to the last column, here, you can see that these are large cities. Munich is, I dunoo, probably almost 2 million people - they more than doubled the mode share of cycling, more than doubled in Nuremberg. They doubled it in Colonge, and so forth, and even in really large German cities - Munich is probably just about the same population size, metropolita area, as Vancouver. I mean, imagine you’re trying to achive a goal of going from 2% to 5% and look at what they did in Munich — they went from 6% to 13% - it’s a huge increase.

And then probably even bigger increase, in the total number of bikers, but even in the biker share. It’s more than a doubling in the share of trips by bike.

So this is a really dramatic accomplishment.

And i wanted to sort of illustrate just how dramatic this shift in policy was.

This is a city, here - lauereulsg (??) in southwest Germany. It’s pretty near Basel, Switzerland, actually. This is the view of the city in 1953, before the onslaught of automobiles, and you can see lots of people cycling, and notice that well right there - [be]cause it’s key in this shot.

So this was the 1953 - before  all the cars came. This is what it looked like in 1970…exactly the same intersection - and that’s the same fountain. Ugly ugly ugly. Car-oriented. You see one cyclist and otherwise it’s sort of dominated by cars - a very unpleaseant urban environment.

2006 - exact same interaction - that’s the fountain. Look at that. No more cars admitted into a car free zone. You see lots and lots of cycl..bicycles parked here at the bike at the fountain and all along this pedestrian zone. I might also note - I know there is some opostion to car free zones here in Vancouver - there was a lot of opposition in almost every one of these cities initially as well. All the merchants said ‘No - you’re going to drive us out of business, we’re going to go bankrupt, we’re goin lose all our customers, our customers will insist on getting to us door to door by car, and instead what they found was they had booming business, and the retailers that were outside the car-free zone demanded to be included in the car-free zone as well.

So it just shows that there’s a sort of a false perception that car-free zones are somehow gonna be harmful to business. In every single case I know about in these three countries, these car-free zones are thriving - they’re booming economically, and more and more merchants want to be part of it.

Another sort of dramatic example - this in Frieburg, Germany - again in the southwest part of Germany - this is the scene the ..via valall (??), this is in the 1950s, 1960s — you can see there’s a car bridge basically, to the right.

This is the scene today, and you can see it’s been turned into a bicycling bridge. Now, this didn’t take any money. I mean, if you look at those two — I mean there hasn’t really been anything done to the bridge - it’s just that the space ahs been taken away from the cars and given to the bicyclists. Why not do that here in Vancouver?

I mean why not?


Everyone talks about ‘Oh, it’s soo expensive to provide facilities for cyclists.’ Well - this didn’t cost anything. Just take it away from the cars and give it to the cyclists. I mean, there’s a very simple solution to that.

Another example here - this is a case of the 1960s, where you have - from my point of view, a very ugly sort of a streetscape. You have cars parked on the sidewalk. You have a very unpleasant environment. It’s been trafficed…every residential street in Freiburg has been traffic-calmed in exactly this way so it becomes a bikable street — without, I mean, they have lots of bike lanes and bike paths as well, but for all residential streets, you have maximum speed limit of 30 km/hr.

You have, as you can see, various kinds of infrastructure changes on this street which is not the case for all streets, but it has made it a very very pleasent street. Again, this is not by chance - this is not a historical — this is a deliberate policy shift where this city said, ‘We’re for people, we’re for cyclists, we’re for pedestians, and we’re against cars’ — sort of.

Segment 7:

and we’re against cars, sort of.

We’re at least, we’re in favor of taming the car. It’s not that we want to banish it completely from the face of the earth - actually, I would like to, hah - but I dare not admit this publicly, um, but, hah - what you do need to do is tame the automobile, control the automobile, and say, ‘There are certain places, situations, and times when you just don’t want the car to be dominating your entire life, you entire neighborhood. Annd this has now been turned into a very pleasant and safe residential neighborhood.

One of the reasons that the Danes, the Germans, and the Dutch cycle so much and also walk and take tansit so much, is because it costs a lot more to fill up with gasoline. And it’s about twice as much as it costs here in Canada. These prices have all increased, as you know, in the last year. I actually wouldn’t know because I don’t have a car, but at any rate I know that they have increased.

The Europeans - Northern Europeans are paying roughly twice as much per liter in gasoline - about two dollars per liter is about one dollar per liter I guess here, but again, more and this is in US dollars by the way, and we’re paying even less in the United States. Now, imagine if you’re paying 2, 3 dollars, 4 dollars a liter per gasoline. I’ll bet you’d think twice about getting in that car. Hah.

I mean people, for better or worse, they’re selfish. I mean every single one of us is self-centered to some extent. We’re gonna do things in our own self-interest. And let me tell you, if you make the cost of parking your car, buying your car, running your car, and so forth, very expensive, you’re certainly gonna encourage more walking, cycling, and transit use as well, so that certainly is another key, and i think American as well as Canadians are terrified somehow policitally, of restricting car use, of imposing higher taxes on car use. I mean - in every American State it’s like - as you know - two of the three major presidential candidates now want to eliminate the tax on gasoline altogether - to get more votes, so it’s a very difficult political thing to do.

But it’s certainly, in both the UK and in Germany and in some of the some of these other countries as well, they explicity impose an annual increase in the gasoline tax. They called it the environmental surcharge. Every single year — so there was a regular increase in the tax on gasoline, so that, and people could predict this - they would know in ten years, gasoline is going to be more and more expensive, and they could learn how to ride a bike, or walk more, buy better walking shoes. And all, almost all the difference by the way in the price of gasoline is due to taxation - it’s not because of the difference in the base price of petroleum - it’s because these countries have made the explicit policy decision of making gasoline more expensive and by doing that discouraging car use and encouraging walking, cycling, and transit, and using the humongous revenues from that to help finance those facilities. So it’s sort of doubly-beneficial impact.

OK - wowwee - we gotta get going here.

Well, what are the other things that these countries do to encourage more cycling and making it safer? Well, the obvius one - I’ll go into each of these in more detail. Better cycling facilities - more cycling facilites and better cycling facilites - which I will go into detail.

But also that includes making all roads more bikable. Fixing up the potholes. Fixing up the drain grates. Wider curb lanes and so forth and so on. Traffic calming of residential negihborhoods. I will show you some examples of this. Integration of cycling with public transport. Restrictions on car use. I wouldn’t mind really to ban completely - but at any rate. Restrictions especially in central areas and in residential neighborhoods of car use - traffic education is key. Traffic regulations and enforcement - absolutley key. Mixed use zoning and improved urban design. Why is that important? Because if you have relatively compact development with mixed uses, you’re going to have shorter trip distances getting from home to work to school to shopping and so forth, so it’s really really key to have effective land use planning that ensures mixed use development and compact development. That I will not be illustrating - but the other ones now I will illustrate.

OK - better cycling facilities. Car free zones. Car-free John, of course, has to be in favor of car-free zones. Well, this is the main street in Munster, Germany, sitting about a quarter of a million people, no cars, but you have bicyclists. You have pedestrians, and in the back you see a bus as well. So they really allow of the all three of the so-called green modes of transportation, but they eliminate the cars. It’s simply not possible to drive a car on the main street. This is in Amsterdamn, and here you have in the middle of the car-free zone, I mean you have a special two-way - a bidirecional bicycling facility, and you have pedestrians on both sides, and as I noted yesterday, that sign that coffee shop - you do not go in there - it is not Starbucks.

Segment 8:

Do not expect coffee in the coffee shop. No no no. You get somethin g else. Actually, I had a colleague who went into one of those Amerstdam coffee shops, and she ordered a glass of wine, and the person, you know, who was at the counter said, “We don’t serve hard drugs here.” Hah!

Oh well, that was part of an aside.

Anyway, this is another example of a car-free zone. Again, they allow these three modes together. They co-exist in harmony - public transportation — we have a tram line, you have a cyclists, you have the pedestrians. It’s a very pleasant zone. Almost no injuries of any kind.

Somehow they manage to get together along - get along together - it’s not like with cars that are running over everyone.

Another kind of a cycling facility which I don’t think I’ve seen anywhere here in North America and that is a so-called fahrradstraße - or bicycling street. These are in many many German cities, and also Dutch cities. In Munster alone, I think 25 of these bicycling streets - entire streets - that are mainly devoted to cycling - not bike paths, but entire streets, as you can see here on the slide.

And this is generally a narrow street, not built this way, but it was always this way historically, a narrow street, and cyclists have priority over the entire width of the street. Cars are allowed on these streets at the mercy of cyclists, they may not rush the cyclists, they may not beep their horns at the cyclist, and if you hit a cyclist on this street you’re in big trouble. So, this is again, as you can see, the sign here, fahrradstraße, that cars are allowed, but they’re mainly meant for cyclists.

Berlin - for an example, is a city of about 3 and a half, 4 million people - the biggest city of Germany, and the capital of course. They have about a thousand kilometers of cycling facilities; they have quadrupled the extent of their cycling network over the past twenty years — very similar to what Germany as a whole has done. But the interesting thing about berlin is that they have four thousand kilometers of traffic-calmed streets. Now, when I say traffic-calmed, this is a speed limit of 30km or less. So, something like 98% of all their neighboroods end up in a big, big city such as Berlin are traffic-calmed - so you have a 1,000 kilometers of separate cycling facilities, plus 4,000 kilometers of very cyclable traffic-calmed streets — you’ve got 5,000 kms of very very good cycling routes.

This was my favorite bike path of all the bike paths that I’ve ridden on in Germany. This was a circumferential beltway in Germany - what they had done - they tore down the old town wall, 6km in circumference and they built this, instead of building a roadway, which most Americans and maybe Canadians would also do, they built a bikeway, and then on both sides of the bikesway, as you can see here, there are separate pedestrian paths, and just to show you how thoughtful they are, on the left hand side is a hard walking surface, and on the right hand side is a soft walking surface, just to give pedestrians the choice - one or the other.

This is not recreational cycling - I would say 95% of the trips on this facility I think it’s 70 or 80 thoushand trips a day are to get to the university, to get to school, to go shopping, to visit the theater, or whatever it might be. It’s not recreation - it connects many many many different cycling paths and lanes from the outskirts of the city into many many paths and lanes going into the center of the city, so it basically serves the same sort of a function as a highway would of this sort - a beltway - but of course, it’s in the form of a cycleway - very very pleasant facility, as you can see.

You have something like this is the I think this is the um, isn’t this on the seawall — it’s somewhere - it’s here in Vancouver - this is also an example of a good facility in that it separates the pedestrians and the cyclists - you can’t always do this, obviously, but it avoids certain conflicts that may arise when you try to mix the pedestrians and the cyclists.

This is one of my favorite ones - I coudln’t believe they do this. And this is Odensa (?), Denmark, and they have this special vehicle with laser technolgy that actually detects in advance possible problems with the underlying surface of bikeways and bike lanes. You can see here if you look very carefully, if you look very carefully you can see in front of this the bicycle symbol on the lane and they actually have this go around regularly to detect in advance, sort of proactively, any possible problems with the bikeway network - in addition to which they have a team of four cyclists who are paid to find obvious detects, defects in the cycling network.

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So again, I don’t know about Vancouver, but we don’t have those sorts of things in America, anyway.

Another thing you can do to in terms of cycling facilities — introduce contraflow lanes. So, where cars can only go in one driection, introduce, allow bicyclists to go in both directions, and when the bicyclist is going in the reverse direction to the motor vehicle traffic, introduce the special kind of a contraflow lane. These are examples in Toronto and Melbourne.

You have sort of adjustments like this to give more flexibility to cyclists. In this case, this is in Burnaby. It allows the cyclist to go over through the arterial and get onto the other side whereas cars cannot go thru that passageway.

This is an example, this is in Munster, a city I love because I lived there for two and a half years. But the point is bicycles are allowed to do almost anything, and cars allowed to do almost nothing. I think that’s a good balance there. Ha!

But this is an example in the lower right, here, of a very very typical - it’s called, in German, falshaghaalflslhstresa (??) - which is a false one way street. It means almost all of the one-way streets in these cities are two ways for cyclists. And that’s exactly what the sign says. The cars cannot go in that particular direction. Bicyclists can go in either direction. Likewise, there are many false dead ends for the cars, whereas the cyclists can go through, so basically, giving as much route flexibility and directional flexibility as possible for the cyclists, and restricting car use as much as possible.

This is another example of that kind of a thing - a cut-through here for cyclists in Melbourne - I was there 2 years ago, and you have some - these sorts of cut-throughs here in Vancouver as well - you can certainly do it, but maybe a little bit more of it.

Other kinds of cut-throughs, the one on the left I think is sort of interesting. It’s a special kind of a shorcut for cyclists. Normally in Munster, you have one-directional bike paths on the sides of every single arterial, almost without exception. In this case, it turns out because of the particular routing of most cyclists, they made it bidirectional on one side to avoid detours by cyclists. Which raises an important point — how it is cities in Denmark, or the Netherlands, or Germany, come up with all these great ideas?

It’s because in the city, the mayor, who is a woman, is also a cyclist. The majority of the town council, cyclists, and they get to their town meetings by cycling. All the transportation planners for the city are cyclists. Now folks, you gotta understand, if the mayor is a cyclist, the town council gets to the town meeting by cycling,  and all the town planners and transportation planners are cyclists, they are going to be very sensitvie to what works and what doesn’t work. They’re gonna have all sorts of natural ideas because every single day, they’re using these facilities. If something doesn’t work, they’re gonna make it better. They’re gonna correct it - they’re gonna experiment with things, and advance the state of the art further and further.

This slide I wanted to show because my European colleague insisted that I do it - I want you to show your audience there in Vancouver that we have excellent cycling facilities not just in the center of the city, but that as a matter of local ordinance, they’re required in every new suburban development - so that from the very get-go, from the very beginning of the devleopment, you have sidewalks, you have bikeways, bike paths, and so forth, and that’s really important. So even in these suburbs, as part of the local ordinance, you’re required to have these facilities.

Another important point that I think makes cycling facilities especially high quality and usable and convenient in all of these European cities, and that is they form a comprehensive integrated complete cycling network. This is Freiburg, Germany — maybe 180,000 population, and what’s whown here in red are only the completely separate facilities - the paths - and the completely seprate lanes. It’s not showing the traffic-calmed streets, of which almost all the streets are traffic-calmed. You can see it’s a complete network. There’s almost no gaps in the network. You can get from almost any point in the city to almost any other point in the city on a completely separate facility if that’s your preference.

You also have to provide cross-overs of rivers, or with very nice bicycling facilities, um, I think you might consider putting in bridges like this - I…I sort of like these ped and bike bridges, they’re verv very convenient, both in Germany, and also here in Melbourne - uh, where I was cycling. You can have some of these going over arterials, here - this one is in New Westminster, um, and I…I understand, it helps you get from one side of the arterial to the other, and in this particular case. But I somehow don’t like the idea of faciliting sort of cars just staying at the same level…I think it’s almost more for the convenience of the cars than it is for the convenience of the cysclist. Cyclists having to go up and around and down and around, again - better than nothing - that’s for sure - because you really want to be able to cross over the arterial. Why not make the cars go under? Or Over. <Knocked into mic> [Oops. I get very dramatic. I get very involved in this.] Anyway, just an idea.

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Here’s a bike path - it’s really important to let bicyclists get across briges, which is here at the Lion’s Gate Bridge. Another idea here is if you hav a lot of bodies of water and you want to facilitiate cycling and don’t have room on the edge of the water, for example, here in Brisbane, they simply, they….what do yo call it, along the river was already very dense development, and they simply didn’t have space to tear something down and put in a new bike lane or bike paths.

What they did instead was they instituted this very very nice floating bike lane.

Traffic signals. As I’ve said before, enocuraging cycling is not just a matter of maintenance, it’s almos a matter of giving priority and time.

To whom do you want to give priority? Why not give the advance green light to the cyclists because that’s what’s done in all of these cities? At almost all the intersections the cyclists get the advance green light, and the motorist has to wait. You can’t tell that just looking at al these slides, that’s the point with all these slides.

That in every case, the cyclist is getting an advance green light and is getting through the intersection before the car. That is certainly something to make cycling safer and more convenient. It’s safer because the cyclist is in the line of sight of the motorist. It’s faster because you’re getting through the signal. You’re getting the advance green light so you’re getting through the intersetion faster.

Now, the Dutch have experimented with various different designs of bicyle facilities. Every facility, no facility is perfect. Every facility has advantages and disadvantages. One of the problems with bikeways that go along the side is that if you’re making a right-hand turn as  motoroist, you might not see the cyclist soon enough to avoid a collision.

So in this partiuclar case the Dutch have experimented with this design - they have the sort of the bike path veers a little bit to the right and then you see the motorist is forced to make a very very sharp right turn. Those yellow bollards there, are forcing the motorist to make a very sharp right turn, forcing the motorist to turn. The cyclist is forced to slow down. So both the motorist and the cyclist slow down. They have more time to see each other and to avoid each other. The Dutch have found this to be very very effective at reducing the problem of collisions in this sort of an intersection.

The other thing you can do - a kind of an innovation as it were - the Dutch are full of innovation when it come to cycling — and that is you put the bike path around the back of the bus stop so you don’t have a conflict between bus passengers getting off the bus and the cyclists coming along the side. This is really a problem in many American cities - I’m not sure how much of a problem it is here in Canada, but it’s certainly a big problem in the US.

This is one of my favorite intersections here in Musnter. And you can see, there are two aspects to this particular design. Again, one of the key things you want to design for is not just the bike path along the street, but also, what do you do at intersections? It’s really really key.

What is going on here in Munster, Germany is, first of all, the cyclists get an advance stop light. So, you can see that they can go much much closer to the beginning of an intersection than the cars can. You can’t see this, but the sign just to the right, you see - they have a special lane first of all - they have a special bike access lane to get to the front of the intersection - there’s a sign there with a little red dot, and it says, “When there’s a little red light, cyclists should fill up the entire space in front of the cars,” then cyclists get an advance green light and, as you can see in the right hand part of this picture, they are then almost through the intersection before the cars can even start. Again, it’s safer. It’s more convenient. It’s more pleasant. It’a a much much much better situation as to how you’d handle intersections.

And these kind of intersection modifications are done all the time in all of these cities. You do have bike boxes here in Vancouver as well, but I don’t think I’ve seen any - I think I was told there’s one advance green light for cyclists somewhere here in greater Vancouver, but not many of them. I don’t think I would say at every intersection.

The other thing you can do here in terms of highlighting safety in terms is when a bike path crosses the intersction — it has to be, obviously, then, a bike lane over the intersection, they highlight this with a very very bright red coloring of this lane. Again, it’s a signal to motorists ‘watch out’ - cyclists are crossing here - do not hit them.

And they don’t - they’re - unlike in New Jersey where motorists aim for cyclists - uhhh - actually, German motorists are trained not to do that.

But even in North American - Portland — here you have some very nice bicycling intersection facilities - where you have cyclists triggering he green light to go through the intersection.

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bicycling intersection facilities, where you have, uh, cyclists triggering the green light for the - um - to go through the intersection. And, in fact, they call this the - I think the ‘bike scramble’ is what they call it. But you can go to the right, to the left - but it’s an all red light for motorists, and so the cyclists can go anywhere they want to go. It’s been very very effective - very popular.

We have something simliar, not the bike scramble - but you have also these sensors in the pavement for cyclists, here - this one is in Richmond (??) - these are two examples of uh - shortcuts for cyclists, these are both in Odensa (??), Denmark. Instead of forcing the cyclists to come all the way to the intersection, you have this shortcut so before they even get to the intersection, they can take a right-hand turn. And they interviewed the cyclists and they love it - they say, you know, they think it’s safer, and more convenient. So they’ve been putting in more and more and more of these sort of shortcuts at the intersections for the right-hand turns, and then when you have a T intersection, they of course, allow the cyclist to go through the red light.

One of the neatest things is the greeeeeen wave because this is uhh, in Denmark. There are several cities that have the so-called ‘Green Wave’. They synchronize the lights such that at the average cycling speed that the cyclist will always get the green light. But one of the neatest things is, if you see those bollards to the right of that bike path, what you’ll see is the green lights pulsate at exactly the speed the cyclist needs to keep up in order to get green at every intersection. Now, you gotta admit, that’s pretty neat. Or as my friend Peter Jacobson in California, ‘coooooooooooool’.

But I think that not only that you have it, but then they actually facilitate you keep that speed, and then on the right they actually have a digital read-out of exactly what your speed is and so forth, and then they have different speeds, by the way, for different kinds of routes. So, for long-distance commuter routes, they tend to be at higher synchorized speeds, for shorter distance routes in the city, they’re short..lower speeds.

This is the same sort of a thing, but without the fancy technology. This is the green wave in Copenhagen - very, as you can see, very intensively used.

Traffic calming is also an extraordinarily important form of bicyling facility as it were. I’ve already mentioned this before - but, of course, you can you can do it either with just a sign, that says, “OK - maximum speed is such and such,” or you can try to force cars to slow down through various kinds of physical infrastructure measures - speed humps and bumps and mid-block closures, and whatever. And i’m not advocating all these things, because they’re not all bicycling-friendly, but many of them are bicycling-friendly and you can certainly design traffic-calmed streets, such as they are bicycling-friendly.

Just as an example, some very very simple, inexpesive forms of traffic calming. This is probably the most typical kind of traffic calming in German cities - there is very little done here. Look at that - that’s not an expensive anything - all they’ve done is put these two big bollard and other than that the sign on the bottom. They’ve painted on the roadway surface - the sign actually indicates that the speed limit is 7 km/hr.

Now, truly, this - the sign is used - there’s someone, there’s a kid playing with the ball, there’s a pedestrian, there’s a car, it’s implicit that the cyclist is possible, but what it’s saying is that everyone has the equal right to use this road - this is not a road for cars. We will tolerate cars, but it’s also for children playing in the street, for pedestrians, for cyclists, and folks - what they found in German, Dutch, English, and Danish cities is that when you introduce traffic-calming, it reduces pedestrian and cyclist fatalities by a range of 60-80%. So, even if your goal is not to increase cycling, if you care about kids - and they’re the ones by the way, who are most injured on residential streets - if you care about kids, and you really want to really want to focus on increasing the safety of children, traffic-calm your streets. It’s a dramatic safety improvement. But, of course, it also facilitates cycling, and every study I’ve seen shows that it increases both the amount of cycling and the safety of cycling, so this is, again, a very cheap, very simple way of making your neighborhoods more livable, less noisy, less polluted, and also much safer and bicycling-friendly.

And, by the way - she’s not wearing a helmet, either. Hah!  This is another example of traffic calming. This one’s only 30km/hr - so it’s not an extreme traffic-calmed. But you can see, it’s a very nice design to that street. It’s certainly has narrowed street. They’ve taken away some - an entire lane, actually - from the cars, and they’ve forced them to slow down. Lots of cycling on this particular sort of a streeet.

This is another design of a traffic-calmed street. This one, again, and that sign is up there, so - in German it’s called - inspeilastrass (??) - it means ‘play street’ - but it means a street that’s shared by all these different users.

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In German, it means ‘play street’. But it means, a street that’s shared by all of these different users. And you can see, you don’t even have to have a sidewalk - that, it’s understood, the motorist has to respect - this is..the whole thing is a sidewalk - or a mixed use path - mixed use for all modes of transportation, and they’ve found - and this is realy really important — in every single case where they have introduced this sort of traffic calming, it has so dramatically, dramatically reduced fatalities of every kind.

Here you have an example of a pro-bike, traffic-calming here in Vancouver, um, so the bike basicallly can go I believe here in both directions, and the cars only one direction.

Another example of traffic calming in Vancouver. Something you can also do - this is something they’ve been doing in Portland - the bicycling boulevards. Very very little in the way of infrastructure modification, but they’ve been very succesful, actually. Portland has, I believe, tripled its share of bike trips over the past 10 years or so, and one of the techniques they’ve used is this notion of a bicycling boulevard, so rather than having - I mean they also have vastly expanded their separate cycling facilities, but they also have this whole system now of bicycling boulevards.

Very very convenient and inexpensive way to promote cycling.

Bike and ride - really important. So you have to provide bike parking spaces at the train stations, key bus stops. Let people take their bikes on the trains, on the buses, and so forth.

This, I’ve gotta show - this is the main bike station at the main train station in Munster - 3,500 bikes. They have medium-term parking, long-term parking, short-term parking, bike repairs, uh, bike rentals, and they also have a bike wash. Now folks, that’s pretty neat. I think that’s pretty neat.

And this is bike parking at one of the bus stops in Munster. So, I mean, it’s not just at the main train station. That’s actually, I think, very very attractive bike parking. You do have to pay - I’m not sure exactly what it costs - it’s not much - whatever it is - it’s  like a monthly fee - sort of rent it by the month - but at the  the same, you’re given alternatives. You don’t have to use pay parking. You can use some of the regular parking to the upper left there. And it’s also fairly high quality parking. Sheltered. You have parking here at a bus stop here in, um, Burnaby - and in this case it’s secured parking down here, but it’s not quite as attractive as, I don’t think, what i just showed you, in Munster.

This is parking in Odense, Denmark. Same thing. Very normal. But one of the things that’s a bit weird, there’s very very few bike racks on buses in these European cities. For the most part people will ride their bikes to their major bus stop, then get on the bus, get off the bus, and then have another bike at the other end and ride from there. Same thing with train stations.

This is - these are you - I think, I believe, all, buses now with Translink now have a bus rack - which is a good thing - that’s for sure.

The other things that’s a, it’s sort of my theme here - is take away from the car and give to the bike. And in this case, for every parking space for the car, you can create ten parking spaces for bikes. So why not do it?

I mean, you’re getting ten for the cost of one, and the mayor of Munster, who is a cyclist, said ‘I don’t like cars, and I believe we should send a signal, that we prefer cycling. Cycling is more environmentally friendly, it’s energy efficient, it’s better for our town, it makes us more livable, more sustainable,’ and so she deliberately, as a matter of policy, was able to get lots of car parking spaces taken out and substitute for them, bike parking. You can do this - this is done in San Francisco - same sort of idea, but more modern.

Another idea is, once you have these facilities in place, whether they’re bike lanes, bike paths, traffic-calmed streets, now you have to give people the information. OK - where are those facilities, and what’s the best way to use them?

In Berlin, just as one example, there are many German cities that offer this - there’s one example - in order to take into account the different needs, the different preferences, of different kinds of cyclists - they let you input your preferences - so, what is your desired speed of travel?  Do you have to go very fast, or are you perfectly happy cycling very slowly? Do you want to cycle on the most direct, arterial streets, or would you prefer the quieter, residential sort of secondary streets? What kind of pavement? Does it have to be a paved facility, or can it be unpaved facility? What kind of mix of traffic do you feel comfortable with? Do you want on-street lanes, or do you insist of off-street paths? You input each and every one one of those - and of course, your origin and your destination.

And this is what you come up with. It shows you in red. This is given your preferences which may be very differnt from someone else’s - given your preferences - this is your prefered route. You then click on - this is all in German - sorry - but you click on the icons and it tells you exactly where the bike parking is, it tells you where all the transit connections are. It tells you what the total time for your trip will be. It tells you what the average incline of your trip will be, and so forth. And the number of traffic lights. It tells you that as well.

And, if that’s not good enough, in Odense, Denmark, you can do it on your cell phone - which is very handy, I think.

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as well, I mean, that’s pretty nice.

And if that’s not good enough, in Odense, Denmark, you can do it on your cellphone, which is very handy, I think, because you know on the one hand you can sit at home and plan your whole trip out, but isn’t it handier to have the cell phone there - and while your on your..on the way, well maybe i change my mind i want to go here, now.

Susan Handy took these photos, again, last summer when she was in copenhagen. I think it’s really really important to have good signage. I mean, not just good maps, and good internet planning, but once your on the route to have really clear, attractive, consistent, uniform signage for bike routes, uh, and bikeways and so forth. And this is very clear. It also shows the connections to mass transit here on the bottom - the nearest bus stop - the nearest train statation and so forth.

On the right is also a neat feature here, you have a bike counter, so every time a biyclist goes by that particular column, you have the it goes up and counts up - 799, 800, 801 and so forth - and it’s sort of neat - I mean, OK, it’s not absolutely necessary to get people cycling, but it’s sort of one of the neat promotional gimmicks or gadgets or whatever.

It also gets some information - it helps them plan. It counts the number of cyclists to help them do we need to expand this facility so it’s attractive, it’s sort of interesting, it’s intriguing for the ccyclist, and also as you get a higher and higher number you see the success, but it also does help inte rmes of cycling, plannign the facilities, giving people free air pumps here is a really convenient thing, especially when you get a flat time. Now, cycling can also - just as we also want make cycling possible for a wide range of social groups - we want to make it possible for a lot of different trip purposes.

In the united states, almost 80% of bike trips are recreational. Most of those - what happens is - Americans sort of put their bikes on the top of the car and they go out to the countriside and then they feel good about themselve, and they say, ‘Oh, it’s good for the nvironemtns.’ Of course they’re drivng out to the countryside to use their bikes, I udnerstnad recreation cyling can be a lot of fun. But that’s not the kind of cycling that’s gonna reduce greenhouse gases.

If you really want to do something to meet the Kyoto Protocol, and to reduce greenouse gas emissions, and help the environment, and reduce congestion and parking needs and so forth, you’re really gonna have to deal with serving more utilitarian trips - daily travel, trips to work, trips to school, trips to shopping and so forth, and that’s…if you look at the Denmark or the Netherlands, something like 70% of their trips, in Denmark, 90% of their trips are utilitarian trips, and we didn’t believe that figure.

Linda Christiansen, who’s the had of statistics for the Danish Ministry of Transport, we emailed back and forth and back and forth - and I just don’t believe it. How can 90% of your bikes be utilitarian? Don’t you do any recreational?

And she said ‘Here in Denmark, we take bicyling seriously - we wanna do things with it. We don’t just go bicyling for recreation - we want to get places. So, whatever. So, I still can’t believe it - but she said, the overwhelming majority, at any rate, of bike trips in these European cities is, in fact, for practical utiltiarian purposes. And those are the kind of trips that are going to help substitute for the car trips. So from that point of view, they’re really important.

Um, this is an example - this is called the Christiania bike -  but I had to show this - it’s sort of a neat - you see these all over Cophenhagen, and a nubmer of Danish cities. Bicycling, police on bikes. I hope they bring these back here in Vancouver - they still have them in Toronto - and a number of - lots and lots of cities in Europe have police on bikes. I think it sends a signal. it’s saying cycling is legitimate and we’re even gonna put police on bikes, hopefully to catch the motorists, not other cyclists. but i think it’s important to send that signal. Deliver mail on bikes. There’s lots of things you can do with bikes. Even UPS by bike. I mean, why not? Hah. That’s a lot better than these deisel fumes I get form the UPS trucks coming by.

You also, I’m almost finished, but you need to provide these facilities - give people the information - integrate cycling with public transportation, but then also explicitly market cycling to different groups. Because different groups have different needs, and we need to realize those different needs and focus on those different needs by a differentiated marketing campaign.

So, to the youth, and this is in Odense, Denmark, they have the cycling, Ducky. Oh, come on folks, doesn’t that turn you on? Hah - look at that! I mean, balloons, and the cycling ducky, if i had been a kid that would have turned me on, at any rate. Hah!

And so kids are very young and they’re already at that very very yougn age, try to attract kids to cycling. When kids get a little bit older, they get a little bit competneitie, they want to be in contests, so then you have these cycling contests with medals and certificates and so forth.

The other key thing here, in terms of targeting it to different groups — you gotta be sure that kids are able to cycle effectively and safely.

And one of the ways that German and Danish and Dutch cities do this is,they require that every kid, almost, in almost in every school, by the 3rd or 4th grade has to complete a course in safe and effective cycling.

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in almost every school, by the 3rd of 4th grade has to complete a course in safe and effective cycling.

And what happens is, there’s actually a real traffic policeman who takes the kids, first to a test course, which this is in Berlin here to the upper left, so you don’t see anyone there because it’s all fenced off. It’s really just a test course. But first the traffic policeman takes the kids on this course - explains all the signs, the ways to turn, where to look and so forth. Then takes the kids out onto the real streets with live, moving traffic and then they do the same sorts of things once the kids have a little bit of experience.

Then the kids get tested, they get certificant, they get a pennant - they get a sticker for their bike - it’s a big deal. But what does it mean? That already by the third or fourth grade, every Danish, German, and Dutch kid, whether a girl or a boy, knows how to cycle safely and effectively. So, from the very youngest age, these kids are able to get around by bike, and they’d better be able to because almost all of them get to shcool by bicycling or by walking. And that’s an important thing, also - getting kids sort of into the habit of cycling.

What about when we get older, like me - <hitting own mic on accident> oops! - I’ve gotta be careful about this - I get too too excited about these things.

You can see here in Vancouver, and not just in Vancouver, Toronto and many other cities here in Canada here as well - there are special cycling courses for adults, who want to either relearn cycling, or learn cycling for the first time. Don’t just write them off, just because we’re older doesn’t mean now you can throw us out.

Take into account also these people who are getting older, but who have these mobility needs. I mean, really, as we’re getting older and older, many people keep driving their cars, when it gets to be more and more and more dangerous, and so you really have to ensure that as we get older, we do have options, whether it’s walking or cycling or taking public transportation, but at least make this a possibility, and offer older adults this possibility of taking up cycling at an older age, and this is done here in Vancouver.

Another important aspect of making cycling possible and safe for everyone is make sure motorists don’t run you down. And we’re almost at an end now.

Each of these is actually from the official German drivers license test. My German doctoral student, and one of the co-authors, actually, of this powerpoint, downloaded this from the official website of the German driving test, so as an example, there are a set of multiple choice questions, that are associated with each and every one of these photos. And they ask, ‘What are you supposed to do as a motorist, vis-a-vis each of these photos?’ And in every case, the answer is ‘yield to the cyclist’, ‘yield to the pedestrian’, ‘yield to the cyclist’, the lower right might be a puzzle. It was pretty obvious to me these three - the lower right, I was puzzled. I said, ‘Ralph, what’s that about? I don’t quite understand that.’

We have a kid on a bike, who’s over there on the isdewlak - I don’t understan what’s the point of that - what kind of a question is that?

And he said, in Germany, in Netherlands, in Demmark, also in Belgium by the way, turns out, by law, that, it is your responsibility, as a motorist, to anticipate possibly dangerous situations where a child or an elderly cyclist could dart out into that roadway and you might hit them. It is your fault as a motorist if you hit that child cyclist - and it is your responsiblity in advance, proactively, to anticipate the possibility that that kid might dart out into the roadway, and it is your fault, by law, if you hit that kid.

And Ralph, this German doctoral student of mine, failed the German driving test, twice, because he did not actively demonstrate that he was taking into account the possibility of maybe endangering a child or elderly cyclist. Hah! I mean, i wish that motorist training were that strict in New Jersey, where the motorists are truly homocidal. But this is important. It really is important. It’s one thing to train cyclists to cycle safely - but equally, if not more important, is training motorists to drive in a way that dos not endanger cyclist.

I mean, in some cases, motorists are driving because of they’re not unaware of the needs of cylists, or they’re not on the radar screen - in other cases, as in New Jersey, you have some truly nasty motorists who are trying to drive the cyclists off the road - they think it’s their road. Whichever it is, I think that motorists really need this sort of very strict motorist training before they can get their license. And by the way, their license ought to be taken away if they’re ever cuaght endangering cylists in this way.

Segment 15:

And, in terms of other uses of, or, ways of promoting cycling - give free bikes to employees. I mean, you know we give free parking to employees, and that costs ten times more than giving someone a free bike. Why do we give employees free parking, but we don’t give employees free bikes? That’s what I’d like to know.

I mean, it’s the perfect zero emissions vehicle - great for the environment, and it’s much chepar for the firm. Give employees free bike with showers, parking, and so forth and so on.

The last, one of the last slides here is, um, some of us have a little bit of a pot belly. And in Denmark they actually had this campaign aimed at middle-aged men with pot bellies. And they actually have this person going around in a sack. And it’s also a television campaign - by the way - and billboards and so forth - and it’s “Get rid of the sack.” And so the sack would go up to every midddle-aged man with a pot belly and point at the belly and say, “Get on a bike!” - hah! - and I mean I couldn’t believe this, but actually Trules Andersen who is the head of cycling there in Denmark, “Yes, this was a very effective campaign - men were so embarassed.”

I told him, “Boy, in New Jersey, that sack would not last long. No no no no no. Hah.”

You can also have special guided bicycling tours for seniors. Again, you know different people have different interests. Seniors, maybe they’re not going to work every day. So, take into account their interests. Maybe they want to have social contact with other seniors - have a little outing. Enjoy the outdoors. Why not? Again, tailor the programs to the different needs of people.

OK - so finally we get to the conclusions, here.

First, I am absolutely convinced that cycling is possible for a very wide range of the population. Why am I convinced of this? Because just look at Denmark, the Netherlands, and Germany. You have all age groups cycling, you have women cycling as well as men. You have everyone cycling for a wide range of trip purposes. So, there’s absolutely no question that it is possible to design cycling policies and programs so that virtually everyone in your society will be able and want to cycle.

Second point: Separate cycling facilities, whether they be bikeways, bike paths, special intersection modifications, bike parking, and so forth and so on. All of those are abolsutely esential. I do not know of a single country where you have a high percentage of bike share of all trips and where you have a wide variety, a wide spectrum of the population cycling, where you don’t have extensive and separate facilities.

That’s only part of the solution. But in every one of the countries and cities that I know of, where you have a high bike mode share and a wide spectrum of the population cycling, you also have an extensive, integrated system of separate facilities and that I think is also key, but that’s not everything.

You really do - as i mentioned on one of the earlier slides - like seven categories of measures that you really need to undertake to complement those separate facilities, whether that be traffic calming of residential neighborhoods, the integration with public transportation, traffic education and training programs, promotional programs,and all those sorts of things. Mixed use zoning, for example, is also key in making trip distances short enough to cover by bike. So there’s lots of soft measures that must complement those hard infrastructure measures. And I think they’re equally important. They’re really really key.

Another point is the need sticks as well as carrots. One of the reasons that in both the United States and in Canada, we have had such a problem increasing cycling in spite of vast expenditures, well not relative to cars, not with highways, even though we’ve spent a lot of money on promoting cycling, it’s been very difficult actually to  increase the mode share of cycling.

In the United States, we’ve had something like a ten-fold increase in expenditures at the state, federal, and local level on cycling facilities, and yet we’ve had almost no increase in the share of bike mode trips, but the reason is we make parking free — 95% of all parking spaces for cars for cars in the United States are free of charge. We have very low price for gasoline. We have so many implicit subsidies of auto use, that it makes auto use almost irrisistable. It make it very difficult and expensive then to get people into other modes of transportation.

I think that one of the lessons of these European countries is, one of the most effective ways to get people onto their bikes, is by increasing the cost of car use and restrecting its use, making it less convenient, whether it’s a system of one-way streets, or dead ends, or turn restrictions, or car-free zones, or traffic-calmed neighborhoods. All of those things in one way or another are restrictions on car use, while at the same time making it more expenseive.

Segment 16:

So the combination of those stick approaches, stick measures, with the carrot measures of improved bicycling facilites, and lots of promotional programs, is what’s been so effective in their European cities in tremendously increasing the percentage trips by bike — and making bike share such as 20%, 30%, 40% possible. Copenhagen is continually increasing the percentages by bike. They’re not resting on their laurels, they’re continually doing everything they can to restrict car use, and at the same time, encourage cycling.

Finally, last point, I really do believe, it’s important - I made this my first point and it’s my last point — if you want to get cycling programs and policies implemented you have to be politically savvy. You have to understand you need widespread public and political support. That means, you need to explain to the public at large, and to politicians, why should they support cycling?

And going back, I think it’s my second slide, there are a lot of good reasons. Environmental reasons, social reasons, economic reasons. I mean, let me just give you one example of them. And that is, it’s so good - most people, as I mentioned, at the beginning, are a little bit self-centered or selfish, and so tell people the result of this study that the British Medical Association, for every hour that you spend cycling, you add more than an hour to your expected healthy lifetime. That’s your lifetime without a major disability, and let me just reapeat that - for every hour you spend cycling, you are adding more than an hour to your expected healthy lifetime.

So, if anyone ever tells you, you’ve wasting your time cycling, you tell them that by cycling every time - every time your cycling, you’re adding to your expected healthy lifetime while they’re sitting in their car, for every hour they’re sitting, they’re subtracting from their healthy lifetime, so you are, in effect, in the long run, saving time.

Plus, one last issue, do you know that the average Canadian works two months a year just to finance your cars?  Two months you are enslaved to your car.

But not me - I’m car free. Hah!

And so that’s also time folks - I have a colleague in Australia, and he’s calculated what he calls the effective speed of modes of transportation, but he takes into account the amount of time you have to work, to finance that mode of transportation, and when you do that, guess what? He calculates that the bicycle is the fastest mode of transportation. So, even - and that’s not even considering the issue of the impact on your healthy lifetime - but just taking into account the cost of owning and operating a car - when you take that into account, the effective speed of cycling is faster than the effective speed of driving a car.

So on that note, hah! - that’s a really good reason to convince people - I mean - use every conceivable argument you can. And form coalitions with environmental groups and public health groups. You really need as much public and political support as possible to get these measures implemented. OK let me stop there and ask for quesions. Hah!


That’s it.  :)

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