We Must Promote Bicycle Use in Urban Centres

analytical Essay
1115 words
1115 words

Many growing cities of the twenty-first century have a common problem: the overwhelming favouritism of cars over other, more environmentally friendly and less congestive methods of travel. Cars in large numbers cause traffic issues, accidents, and pollution [1]. The bicycle is among the most popular solutions to these problems, as bicycles are cheap for the user, healthy, and are a form of sustainable transportation. The two primary things to consider when encouraging bicycle usage are the cost and viability of implementation and the overall effectiveness of the solution [2, 3]. Considering this, the most influential factors affecting the bicycle’s modal share seem to be infrastructure and public initiatives to encourage bicycle use; of these factors, the most successful and cost-effective ways to encourage bicycle use are those that make cycling safer and more convenient for cyclists.

If the potential power of the bicycle was ever in doubt, a cost-benefit analysis was done in large Chinese Cities [2] to express the effectiveness of alternative modes of transit. In the study, bicycles were always found to be more cost-effective than rails, and in only some cases less effective than buses. Indeed, there are many benefits with few downsides; in the face of increasing evidence of the utility of the bicycle, “many government agencies and public health organizations have explicitly advocated more bicycling as a way to improve individual health as well as reduce air pollution, carbon emissions, congestion, noise, traffic dangers, and other harmful impacts of car use”[2]. It is clearly in the interest of the government to encourage bicycle use, especially to the detriment of single-occupancy vehicle usage.

Infrastructure is by fa...

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...rease bicycling: An international review," Prev. Med., vol. 50, Supplement, pp. S106-S125, 1, 2010.

[4] J. Dill, "Bicycling for Transportation and Health: The Role of Infrastructure," J. Public Health Policy, vol. 30, pp. S95-S110, 01/01, 2009.

[5] Anonymous "Review of studies on pedestrian and bicyclist safety, 1991-2007," Ann. Emerg. Med., vol. 60, pp. 495-496, 10, 2012.

[6] J. Kim, S. Kim, G. F. Ulfarsson and L. A. Porrello, "Bicyclist injury severities in bicycle–motor vehicle accidents," Accident Analysis & Prevention, vol. 39, pp. 238-251, 3, 2007.

[7] J. D. Hunt and J. E. Abraham, "Influences on bicycle use," Transportation, vol. 34, pp. 453-470, 07/01, 2007.

[8] P. Rietveld and V. Daniel, "Determinants of bicycle use: do municipal policies matter?" Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, vol. 38, pp. 531-550, 8, 2004.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that general bicycle use is primarily caused by "push and pull" factors, such as oil price, but other indirect methods of increasing the bicycle's modal share are viable.
  • Argues that bicycles are cheaper, healthier, and a form of sustainable transportation. infrastructure is the most important part of convincing people to cycle.
  • Opines that promoting bicycle use in urban centres is a modern challenge, but it can be implemented as an alternative to single-occupancy vehicles.
  • Cites david ogilvie, matt egan, val hamilton, and mark petticrew in promoting walking and cycling as an alternative to using cars.
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