Seville on how to be bike friendly

Seville, Spain has gone from 0.4% (essentially zero) to 7% bicycle mode share in 5 years.  Boulder’s bike share is something like 9% and we’ve been at it for 20-30 years.  This suggests to me that we are being too timid, and that we have no reason to rest on our laurels.  Seville did this on the cheap, and they did it fast, by taking a small amount of space from cars, and giving it to people, while also physically protecting the people from the cars.

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Zane Selvans

A former space explorer, now marooned on a beautiful, dying world.

2 thoughts on “Seville on how to be bike friendly”

  1. Not knowing anything about Seville or Boulder, is it possible that there is a natural constituency for bicycles (students, self-employed people, curmudgeons)? I am not saying that this constituency can’t be enlarged (of course it can!), but that might be a much slower process than initial adoption by those for whom it is easiest

    1. Boulder has about as much natural cycling constituency as I can imagine… The population is very active, in general. There’s a huge student population, and a lot of jobs where dress is very casual, and the weather is wonderful (though probably not quite as good as Sevilla, which looks like LA climatically). I guess I could imagine some kind of saturation effect. The first 5% or 10% is “easy”, and after that you have to try much harder. I think of it as being primarily cultural. I don’t think the motivations that have largely driven US cycling as a sub-culture (exercise or competition, eco-guilt, etc) scale up very well, compared to choosing bikes because they’re a cheap and efficient way to get from A to B, which they are if you’ve got decent infrastructure for them. I feel like here our infrastructure has outstripped our bike culture. We need to show more people how enjoyable and efficient riding is here already, before we’ll have the political constituency to do anything more radical, like expand the pedestrian areas, or remove large amounts of car parking, travel lanes, etc.

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