Bicycle production increased 3.2 percent in 2007, bringing the number of new bicycles manufactured to 130 million annually, according to Worldwatch Institute estimates published in the latest Vital Signs Update. Two-thirds of this production continues to take place in China, which has long been an industry leader.
More and more cities are announcing plans to launch or expand bike-sharing schemes as part of a growing effort to reduce city congestion and extend public transportation options without huge infrastructure investments. Earlier this year, Paris rolled out 20,000 bikes at more than 1,450 rental stations throughout the cityâ€”four times as many stations as subway stops. Other cities have shown similar initiative, including Copenhagen, Berlin, and, more recently, Rome and Washington, D.C.
â€œSpreading bicycle use goes hand in hand with sustainable transportation,â€ said Gary Gardner, a senior researcher for the Worldwatch Institute and the author of the Update. â€œItâ€™s good for peopleâ€™s health and is a low-cost way to reduce pollution.â€
Many of the places with the highest cycling rates have emphasized policies that give priority to cycling, walking, and public transportation over private automobiles. These same policies have all made cycling safe, fast, and convenient.
â€œWith the right leadership from policymakers worldwide, bicycle use could take off and become part of the solution to climate change,â€ added Gardner.
I for one welcome our new two wheeled overlords.
Speaking of bicycles, I will be doing this Sunday, anyone in Boston is welcome to join us, it’s at the All Asia bar on Mass Ave in Cambridge.
It is a lot of fun…