There are great examples of the impact of cycling on our cities. One such example is Seville where cycling as has seen a great increase over the years, from 7,000 trips a day in 2006 to 72,000 by 2011, a 10x increase in 5 years.
One of the major reasons for this is the increased investment in permanent or substantial cycle infrastructure, things like raised or barriered cycle ways. The idea behind these specific cycle infrastructures was to make it difficult to un-do, should a political shift against cycling occur in the future.
These infrastructure changes gave a greater sense of safety, particularly for new cyclists. It's also interesting to note that 70-80% of the space for the cycle ways came from land occupied by cars in the shape of lanes or parking spaces.
There were two keys behind the success in Seville. Firstly, having a large, usable cycle network, and secondly to roll it out quickly. It is pretty clear that without these two steps disrupted cycle journeys are not that attractive.
To give you an idea of cost, the first 80KM of cycle ways cost (only) $20M. To put this into context, the metro line costed 45x more, it only serves just over half the number of trips and is less than a quarter of the length.
This case study shows not only what is possible, but the pace of change that is achievable. It's also a great example of adopted behaviour, if there are cycle lanes people will cycle, it's that simple. Let's hope your city can follow in Seville’s footsteps, or should we say, tire tracks.
Learn more about this case in this video from Bloomberg.