On a zoom weminar hosted by @CalBike with renowned bike researchers John Pucher and @buehler_ralph on international international comparisons in biking!

Here is the share of trips made by bike across North America, Europe, and Japan. Huge variation across countries, with English speaking nations lagging behind.
But these differences are not because those countries are more dense! In the US, our share of bikes used for even short trips are tiny!

Whereas in the Netherlands, nearly half of all 1-2.5 mile trips are on a bike.
But there have been massive changes in the last couple decades. Despite having low rates today, some US cities have seen a large percentage increase.

But look at Bogota, Sevilla, and Frankfurt! They have gone from low rates to relatively high rate very fast!
Focusing on Latin America, there are huge differences across the continent. And some very notable change in recent decades.
Now a piece of bad news. Biking across China has decreased, substantially.

This is due to increasing wealth (more cars), leading to large investments in car infrastructure.

Also worth noting is the massive rollout of transit across the country.
Perhaps surprisingly high rates of cycling in India, with higher rates in rural areas than in urban areas.

India also has a very high disparity in gender, with far more men riding than women.
Speaking about gender and cycling, there are massive differences in the share of cycling done by women.

In English-speaking countries, less than a third of riders are women, where in Japan, Denmark, and the Netherlands, women make up a majority.
Fascinating figure on age and cycling.

In all countries, the highest share of riders are those who can't drive. But then things vary subtantially.

Japan and Germany have no age disparity in riding. In the Netherlands, older adults actually ride at the higher adult rate.
E-bike sales have been exploding across the world, especially in Germany, where nearly a million were sold in 2018 (in a country of 83 million)
Safety and cycling rate are highly correlated in both directions.

When more people bike, more people build political power to make biking safer.

But when biking feels dangerous, most risk-averse people avoid it unless they have no other choice.
And while bicycle safety has been improving in the UK, Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands, it's been getting *worse* in the US since 2008-2010.

What are we doing here? Rising drunk driving, more speeding, larger cars, all trends going in the wrong direction in the US.
Zooming in on three world cities, we see cycling increasing in NYC, London, and Paris, with the latter really taking the lead.
By building *protected* infrastructure, each city has seen substantial improvements in cycling safety.
Let us remember that our cities *can* change. Every street configuration is a political choice.

See how other countries have chosen to undo the mistakes of the past.
And those changes *do* work. When both Portland and Sevilla began building out their bike networks, more and more people started riding bikes.
The most important thing we can do to make our streets safer is reduce speeds. Crashes will happen, but when they happen at low speeds, no one dies.

The key inflection point is 30 kph (18.5 mph). Our neighborhood streets must be kept at that speed or below.
This can be done by creating slow streets and narrowing roads making bike infrastructure as we usually think of it actually unnecessary.

Fire departments fight tooth and nail here in the US on this front. Interestingly, we don't see Dutch cities engulfed in flames.
Here are the strategies for implementation.

We need advocacy, integrated policy across all levels of government, and political appetite for *disincentivizing driving*

The carrot for biking does not work unless you have a stick making driving less convenient for all trips.
In summary, we need to reform land use, parking, and integration with transit.

We need to push people away from driving and pull them toward biking.

Crucially, this work need to be paired with social/racial equity consideration to prioritize vulnerable and disadvantaged groups

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More from @WarrenJWells

12 Oct
6,000+ miles of riding over my three years in the Bay.

All my bikers out there, what do you notice? Strava bike heat map
Super true! SPA is a huge block hole my map. 9th St and California sort of work, but have their own issues (and no fronting commercial for me to actually use!)

I mean, this is the elephant in the room, right?

It's also so striking to see that we can get 2/3rds(!!) of the way there today. It's just not that far from Yerba Buena to Embarcadero, and yet it might as well be 1000 miles.

Read 6 tweets
12 Oct
Lease popular bike opinion: e-bike motors should cut out at 15 mph.
Dumb typos. I shouldn't be tweeting during meetings.
I'd be willing to entertain 30kph or 20 mph, but the 28 mph of Class 3 e-bikes is just too fast.
Read 10 tweets
11 Oct
Excellent article about the century-old fight, lost to history, to keep cars out of Golden Gate Park.

There's so much interesting stuff here.

The first person arrested for speeding in SF was driving on the Great Highway!
That same arresting officer (while atop a horse!) was hit by a driver he was attempting to stop in the park.
Read 4 tweets
10 Oct
I'm not often surprised at how much space parking takes up. But, I just read the SFMTA 2014 Parking Census and...um...wow.

If you lined up the on-street parking spaces in San Francisco, it would be longer than *the state of California.* Quote from report: At nearl...
If you include the publicly available off-street parking (setting aside every garage, apartment, and private lot), the line of parking would stretch...

...from San Francisco to Minneapolis. There are 422,000 total pub...Map showing 1580 miles betw...
There are neighborhoods where at there is *at least* 1 square foot of public parking for every 3 square feet of land. Neighborhoods of SF by park...
Read 6 tweets
6 Jun
The first step to reducing VMT is to...

...stop every project that increases VMT.
There will always be "just one more project" to do.

There's always a chokepoint that "needs" widening, a winding segment that "needs" straightening, or a freeway interchange that "needs" an additional connection.
It's the classic '10 hot dogs 8 buns' problem:

"I've got 2 extra hot dogs so I need to buy more buns. I've got 6 extra buns..."

Except it's:
"We widened this segment, we now have a chokepoint we have to fix. Oh, and now we have a chokepoint further downstream that we...."
Read 6 tweets
5 Jun
"Reforms have to justify themselves in a way that the status quo never does." -@JohnFPfaff on The Weeds podcast

This is the best formulation I've seen of a problem that bedevils America on countless fronts:
-Criminal justice
-Clean energy
-Housing, etc.
"Yeah, what's happening right now is terrible, but think of how it *might* be worse if we change it."

Seriously, you should listen to this episode (and read @JohnFPfaff's excellent book, "Locked In").

"The question isn't whether police reduce crime. It does, but at an extreme social cost."
Read 4 tweets

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