This month a list of the top cycling cities in the world was produced by Copenhagenize Consulting. The results were interesting (if a little predictable at the top), that interest perhaps being influenced by the way questions were asked. Here we look at the way the questions were asked, before revealing the results.
* * *
There were 13 categories:
How is the city's (or region/country) advocacy NGO regarded and what level of influence does it have? Rated from no organised advocacy to strong advocacy with political influence.
Is the lack of an advocacy group a sign of a poor cycling city? Or is a strong cycling lobby a sign of a good city? For instance, if a city is lacking good cycling provision then it may well have a strong cycling lobby because it needs it.
Has the bicycle reestablished itself as transport among regular citizens or only sub-cultures? Rated from no bicycles on the urban landscape/only sporty cyclists to mainstream acceptance of the bicycle.
'Only sporty cyclists' is a little odd to rate the same as 'no bicycles'. There could be 50 cyclists riding to work and 45 in 'sporty' gear; or 45 in 'normal' clothes. It's worth wondering why, with the same amount of cyclists using the bicycle for the same purpose, the choice of attire determines whether the bike is reestablished as transport...
Are there readily accessible bike racks, ramps on stairs, space allocated on trains and buses and well-designed wayfinding, etc? Rated from no bicycle facilities available to widespread and innovative facilities.
Can't argue with that, bike facilities are pretty much at the heart of a bike culture.
How does the city's bicycle infrastructure rate? Rated from no infrastructure/cyclists relegated to using car lanes to high level of safe, separated cycle tracks.
As is bike infrastructure (no matter how much anyone argues about vehicular cyclists and the like - and I ride generally on the road by choice - good bike infrastructure definitely shows a willing and acceptance of cycling.
.bike share programme:
Does the city have a comprehensive and well-used bike-sharing programme? Rated from no bike share programme to comprehensive, high-usage programme.
Definitely a good indication.
What percentage of the city's cyclists are male and female? Rated from overwhelming male to an even gender split or better.
Odd. Why is it better to have more female cyclists that male? Surely a 50/50 split (taking into account local variations in population split of course) is the best result?