26 Nov '11, 3pm
Drumbeat: November 26, 2011
Cities like Copenhagen and Amsterdam are often heralded for being so bicycling and public transit oriented, with travel by car constituting a minority of trips, (despite still high rates of automobile ownership). It is often assumed that such cities in Europe have always had bike cultures and we can never emulate their travel mode shares. What many don’t realize is that many world cities that we associate with bicycling today were once beginning to follow in the foot steps of American cities. Like us, they began destroying neighborhoods to make way for express highways, paving over public spaces for parking lots, and vehicle miles traveled rapidly increased. Some of the most happening outdoor cafes with adjacent cycle paths in Copenhagen today, were ugly and crowded parking lots in the 1970’s.