A Bike Trip a Day Keeps the Pollution Away
Global production of bicycles is on a downward slide, as dealers focus on ridding themselves of excess inventories. But growing interest in more diverse urban transportation systems around the world could put a sluggish market on a new roll.
While bicycle production fell by some seven percent in 2001, the disadvantages of car-centered transportation—including air pollution, sprawl, and congestion—have prompted many cities to rethink their transportation priorities. The residents of Bogotá, Columbia, voted overwhelmingly for an annual car-free day, a trend followed by many other Latin American cities. Cycling accounts for some 12 percent of all trips in Germany and 27 percent of trips in the Netherlands. In contrast, in the United States, bicycle infrastructure is much less extensive and less sophisticated. As a result, cycling accounts for less than 1 percent of all trips.
Bicycle Production Seesaws, Vital Signs 2003, pp. 58-59.