May 2024

Inspirational papers and documents

See also:  Links to technical and research documents

Inspirational/thoughtful blogs

[NB – for some excellent locally-based cycling-related blogs, see links – Edinburgh]

Thinking about Cycling  by Dave Horton.  See also his Bike Hub article Save our cities: build for bicycles, not cars.

Inspirational papers and documents by academics or others…

[NB – see also links – governments & councils beyond Scotland]

1706 Cycling towards a more sustainable transport future, John Pucher & Ralph Buehler.  Editorial in Transport Reviews.  Showing accelerating growth worldwide in cycle research, cycle use, cycle safety, bike share, e-bikes, etc, etc.

1703 The end of the road? – Challenging the road-building consensus Report by CPRE surveying 80 road scheme evaluations – little boost to local economies; big rises in induced traffic; damage to environment.

1609 Global Outlook on Walking and Cycling – Policies & Realities from around the World [pdf]  UNEP Analysis of NMT (non-motorised transport) policies & practice in developing countries round the world.  Recommends 20% of transport budgets should go to NMT.

1308 How to increase Cycling for Daily Travel – lessons from cities across the globe [Powerpoint pdf 6.9MB] by Prof John Pucher.   There’s also a longer version, Cycling to the Future [link to 10MB pdf].

1212 Study Tour Copenhagen [pdf 2.9MB] study tour by London traffic planners.  Fascinating because it is ‘warts and all,’ not just unconditional praise.  Speculates that a levelling off in Copenhagen bike use in recent years results from helmet promotion [c.f. our argument to APPCG].

1210 City Cycling  [link to book website] Major analysis by Prof John Pucher & Ralph Buehler.  Trends and policies around the world.  How to make city cycling feasible, convenient, and safe for all daily transport needs.

1109 Understanding Walking and Cycling [pdf 2.5MB] 3-year academic research identifying policies for UK (specifically, England) to achieve European cycling levels.   Considered controversial by some cyclist groups, but has very interesting conclusions.

1109 Copenhagen Bicycle Account 2010 [pdf 1.2MB] Assessing progress on the aim of becoming the world’s most bike-friendly city.

1107 Behaviour Change [pdf 761k] House of Lords Science & Technology Cttee investigation – with case study on reducing car use [7.26-7.48, esp 7.37-7.38]

1005 Making a Cycling Town [4.5MB] Cycling England report on lessons from their hugely successful English cycling demonstration towns, with substantial cycling increases thanks to consistent investment of £10 per person per year.  See p17 for discussion of funding.  NB – Cycling England is being scrapped by the new UK government [2010].

1007 Our Cities Ourselves: 10 Principles for Transport in Urban Life [link to download]  Visionary urbanist Jan Gehl Director Walter Hook describe 10 principles by which cities worldwide can meet the challenges of rapid population growth and climate change.  Principle 2: Create a great environment for bicycles.

1006 Civilising the Streets [link to download]  Comparative study of 13 European towns and cities by Jolin Warren of Transform Scotland, identifying how they have achieved big cycle use – and the lessons for Scotland.

1005 Cycling Revolution London – the Mayor’s Cycling Action Plan [pdf 6.5MB] Also available on Transport for London cycling page.

1005 Cycling Revolution London – Cycle Safety Action Plan [pdf 2.2MB] A 54-page genuine safety plan – concentrating on analysis of crash causes, and not a single mention of helmet promotion!  Also available on Transport for London cycle safety page.

08xx  Entering the Ecological Age [pdf 4.7MB] Peter Head – how the world can develop in a sustainable way – particularly the role of the engineer, town planner, etc.

0909 Infrastructure, programs, and policies to increase bicycling: An international review [link to 1.5MB pdf] John Pucher, Jennifer Dill & Susan Handy.   Following Pucher’s excellent paper based on 3 European countries [0807 below] this new review paper looks across the world, referencing 139 studies, with basically the same conclusions and lessons as below but now with far more comprehensive evidence.

0807  Making Cycling Irresistible [pdf 874k] John Pucher & Ralph Buehler – a very useful comparative article looking at why Denmark, Netherlands and Germany have achieved high cycle use whilst US and UK have performed dismally.   In summary, an integrated program is needed, consistently funded* over the years, with strong political/ official leadership, combining 3 elements – cycle infrastructure, smart measures and wider measures to reduce car dominance – charging, parking restrictions, land-use decisions which consistently promote short trips, etc.  There are several other excellent comparative papers by John Pucher – click his publications tab for a list.
*Although funding is discussed Pucher does not come up with conclusions on ideal levels – but evidence from elsewhere [e.g. the English Cycle Demonstration Towns] suggests £10-£20 per head per year is needed to achieve the increases and the eventual levels of successful towns and countries.