The Role of Public Policies in Promoting the Safety, Convenience, and Popularity of Cycling

Source: World Transport Policy and Practice

In the special issue on bicycling of WTPP (Volume 7, Number 3), Heath Maddox questions the potential of public policies to encourage bicycling. This response to the Maddox critique argues that he seriously misinterpreted the concept of public policy, considering only a small subset of the many policies that can facilitate bicycling. He does not adequately examine the impacts of special cycling facilities. Moreover, Maddox ignores virtually all other transport policies as well as all land-use, housing, taxation, education, training, law enforcement and public relations policies. This counterpoint article re-emphasises the crucial importance of a wide range of public policies to increase the safety, convenience and attractiveness of cycling. In order to generate the necessary political support for such policies, this article recommends focussing on the enormous public health benefits that would derive from increased cycling.

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