Why does cycling thrive in some cities and not in others? | The Economist

BORIS JOHNSON, London’s flamboyant mayor, has long been known for his cycling—continuing on his bike in defiance of traffic, other cyclists and tabloid photographers (pictured, right). But despite his best efforts, cycling in London remains a minority pursuit. Even after a decade of growth, still just 2.5% of people in London bike to work, according to the 2011 census. This, Mr Johnson thinks, is not good enough: “Our streets should be as famous for cycling”, he says, “and as popular with cyclists as the streets of Copenhagen or Amsterdam”. But why does cycling thrive in some cities and not others?

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