A growing number of American cities are taking steps to encourage cycling as an pollution-free and healthy transportation alternative.
"Cities are accelerating their efforts to encourage commuting on two wheels, putting bike racks where cars once parked, adding bike lanes and considering European-style bike-share programs to get residents out of their cars.
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino last month named a former national cycling champion to be the city's director of bike planning. The city is identifying the best roads for bicycling in a mapping project that cyclists eventually may be able to access online. It also plans to add 250 bike racks by next fall and this month will hold a summit of cycling experts to determine a long-term bike strategy.
"There's never been so much attention from cities collectively for cycling as a mode of transportation," says Loren Mooney, executive editor of Bicycling magazine. "Cities are recognizing that it is a realistic and inexpensive solution to a lot of different problems - to the traffic issues, to pollution issues, to personal health issues because instead of sitting in cars for an hour you have people out burning calories." "