"Knowledge is the best protection for cyclists"

Experienced cyclist and bicycle education instructor Martin Pion has an interesting article in today's St. Louis Beacon:

There is a belief that on-road infrastructure created especially for bicyclists obviates the need for any cyclist training. In fact, this infrastructure often is contrary to safe cycling practices, and requires more education and effort on the part of the cyclist to be used safely. Worse, it reinforces motorists’ belief that cyclists must stay near the right-hand road edge, increasing hostility toward cyclists who are driving defensively when controlling the lane.
Bike Ed Class
Bike Ed Class
 
I started cycling for environmental reasons in the late 1960s. At the time, I was a scientist working at ITT’s Central Research Lab in Harlow, England. Lacking good information on how to use a bicycle safely in traffic, I became a leading advocate for expanding the local system of off-road bicycle facilities.
 
My views only changed after getting a job at the former McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Co. in St. Louis in 1980 and meeting Bob Soetebier, a local cycling enthusiast who introduced me to the principles of safe cycling. Subsequently, I learned that most bike crashes could be avoided by a combination of improved bike handling techniques and best practices for safe cycling on-road, which turns out to be the best facility for transportational cycling. . . .
 
Fourteen years as a League of American Bicyclists (LAB) Cycling Instructor have confirmed my understanding of safe on-road cycling principles. For several years, I was also coordinator of a mainly federally funded bike promotion program for the City of Ferguson. This aimed to promote bicycling via bike education and such improvements as quality bike racks.
 
So what do you think?  Bicycle education, facilities, or both?  Or some other combination?  What really works, both to encourage more bicycling and to create greater safety?
 
Improving bicyclist safety through education is one of the primary goals of MoBikeFed's Vision for Bicycling and Walking in Missouri.  We organize Bike Ed classes and promote the classes of other organizations and individuals across the state who provide bicycle education.