WorldWatch: Cities turning to bicycling

According to a 1998 WorldWatch report:
For safer streets, less congestion, and cleaner air, the bicycle is poised to become an integral part of urban transportation systems for the 21st century, says the Worldwatch Institute . . .

Putting bicycles to work could produce enormous savings, like reduced air and noise pollution, better land use, less congestion and lower health costs. "Americans drive cars and taxis more than 1.5 trillion miles each year," said Gary Gardner . . .

Much of urban travel is already "bike-sized": 40 percent of all trips in the United States (and 50 percent in Britain) are 2 miles or shorter. More than 25 percent of all trips are under a mile in the United States. . . .

Strong support from citizens and local officials has been driving new bike policies around the world. In several major cities in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany, bicycles now account for 20 to 30 percent of all trips. In many Asian cities, the bicycle's share of trips is even higher, accounting for more than half of all trips in some Chinese cities-more than buses, cars, and walking combined. In stark contrast, bicycles are used for less than 1 percent of all trips in Canada and the United States.