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Dr. John Pucher: "How to Increase Cycling and Walking: Lessons from Cities across the Globe"

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Published on Jun 19, 2013

On June 18th, 2013, we presented Prof. John Pucher -- one of our nation's leading researchers in the analysis of international best practices that make bicycling and walking safe, enjoyable, and open to everyone.

In his talk, Dr. Pucher documented the recent boom in cycling in both European and North American cities. He showed how cycling can thrive even in cities with no history or culture of daily, utilitarian cycling -- but only if government policies provide safe, convenient, and pleasant cycling conditions. Similarly, government policies are key to encouraging walking and making it safer. While safe infrastructure is a prerequisite, it must be complemented by many other supportive measures.

We learned from Dr. Pucher that Seattle -- like dozens of cities in North America that have more than doubled levels of cycling since 1990 -- is on the right path, but has much room for improvement. He discussed some of the specific measures being proposed in the new Seattle bike plan, including cycle tracks, buffered bike lanes, and neighborhood greenways.

Finally. Dr. Pucher discussed political strategies for implementing the policies needed to increase walking and cycling while also making them safer. Perhaps the most effective strategy of all is to make cycling and walking possible for everyone, and in particular, to get more seniors, children, and women on bikes and on their feet. Broadening the base of public support for walking and cycling is key to getting the necessary political support and funding for the measures needed to promote walking and cycling in our cities.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: John Pucher has been a professor at Rutgers University since 1978, conducting research on transportation economics and finance, urban travel behavior, transportation systems, and government policies in the United States, Australia, Canada, and Europe.

Over the past 15 years, John's research has focused on walking and bicycling, and how to improve their safety and convenience for all age groups, for women as well as men, and for all levels of physical ability. John has published three books and over 100 articles in academic and professional journals. His most recent book with MIT Press is entitled "City Cycling."

Sponsored by Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, University of Washington Transportation Services, the Bicycle Urbanism Symposium, and the Cascade Bicycle Club.

John has spent several years as a visiting professor at universities in Germany, the Czech Republic, Canada, and Australia, and is currently spending the first half of 2013 as visiting professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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