Sunday, November 11, 2007

[Cyclelicious] New comment on Why is sponsored research into cycling safety so f....

Ed W has left a new comment on your post "Why is sponsored research into cycling safety so f...":

I've been working through the Thunderhead Benchmarking Report. Now, realize first that a good deal of Thunderhead's funding comes from the industry, and the manufacturers exist to sell more bikes. In their view, anything that helps sell more bikes is a Good Thing. In their conclusions, TA simply says,
"Examples abound and local advocates and officials
know that a new trail or path built where few biked and walked
before more often than not will dramatically increase bicycling
and walking in that particular corridor. Results of this study
suggest what these advocates and officials know to be true:
when you build it, they will come."

The underlying assumption is that the 'build it and they will come' approach will help to sell more bikes. There is no evidence to support this, of course, and in reality things have worked out quite to the contrary. Bicycle sales have been essentially flat while public spending on bicycle and pedestrian facilities went from $22.9 million in 1992 to $394.9 million in 2006. Don't misunderstand me - I'm not saying that money was wasted, but it may be disingenuous to suggest that on a national scale spending more money leads to more cyclists.

Posted by Ed W to Cyclelicious at 11/11/2007 07:21:00 PM