hewey wrote:I think too many academics try and look at cause and effect in isolation, however they do not undertake a holistic analysis such as a systems thinking approach which would enable them to gain a much more comprehensive and informed perspective. Especially when looking at an issue such as cycling, when there are so many factors at play including the demographics and socio-economics of an area, the geographical context (landscape, climate etc), the politics etc. Simply looking at the extent of bike paths and number of cyclists doesn't cut it.
Planners are the better academics to look at this type of thing, especially the European ones. Jan Gehl did an excellent presentation in Melbourne on how to create 'sustainable' cities, with bicycles as one of the primary means of transport. His ideas were great, and make me long for a better bike path system in Brisbane. Unfortunately we don't have a well planned city, with roads are choked and too narrow.
That said some bike paths are better than none, but yes, it's a hodge-podge of bike paths at best, and there needs to be a significant move away from the worshipping the car as THE form of transport for progess to be made. Melbourne is a step in the right direction - roads are much wider and better planned, and the drivers seem to take greater care creating a safer environment for on-road cycling.