To make North American cities more bicycle friendly, planners should look to Stockholm, Sweden and Freiburg, Germany -- two European cities were bikes and cars happily co-exist on the street.
"In every city there are thousands of closet cyclists, people who would love to ride their bikes but don't dare. They see cycling in the city as something for bike couriers, for the fiendishly fit, for neighbours with nerves of steel.
Our cities are just bursting with pedaling potential, and it's time to set it loose on the streets. The key lies in building the right kind of infrastructure. Cycling routes designed by cyclists for cyclists.
To make my case, I'll take you to two cities in Europe, to Stockholm - a northern city that has plenty of ups and downs, and cold; and to Freiburg - bordering on Germany's Black Forest mountains.
Quite literally, cycling is for everybody. The bike paths are not separate recreation routes that may or may not actually serve the needs of everyday commuters and shoppers. Instead, they follow every road, like a parallel sidewalk.
Many intersections have designated traffic lights for bikes, often changing before the cars are set loose, so as to allow for the intersection to clear in advance of letting the cars through."