Cycling for Everyone: Lessons from Europe

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - traffic, planning - safety/accidents, place - europe, mode - bike


Traffic calming, Public policy, Nonmotorized transportation, Netherlands, Germany, Europe, Denmark, Cyclists, Cycling, Case studies, Bicyclists, Bicycling safety, Bicycling, Bicycle usage, Bicycle travel, Bicycle riders, Bicycle facilities


This paper investigates how bicycling can be promoted as a safe and feasible means of transport for everyone and for all trip purposes. The policies and programs needed to encourage a broad spectrum of social groups to cycle are the same policies and programs that encourage high overall levels of cycling: extensive systems of separate cycling facilities, intersection modifications and priority bicycle traffic signals, traffic calming of neighborhoods, safe and convenient bike parking, coordination and integration of cycling with public transport, traffic education and training for both cyclists and motorists, and traffic laws that favor cyclists and pedestrians. To show how this multifaceted, coordinated approach actually works, the paper focuses on cycling trends and policies in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany. The national-level comparative analysis is supplemented with case studies of large and small cities in each country.