I read a lot about cycling culture in the US and the growing popularity of cycling as transportation. Everybody seems to be asking what it’s going to take to become more like a certain European city. Building a community of cyclists is the first step, sure, but next we need start using that community to improve city planning.
But Copenhagen cyclists have benefited from decades of pro-bike planning decisions, while US urban planners must overcome a century of energy politics and urban policy designed to promote vehicle use.
“There was an enormous American economic engine built around the continuing expanded use of the automobile,” said Prof Owen Gutfreund of the urban affairs faculty at Hunter College in New York, and author of Twentieth-Century Sprawl: Highways and the Reshaping of the American Landscape.