As summarized in the following table, jurisdictions around the world are investing significant amounts in cycling infrastructure. Some such as the Netherlands and Copenhagen already have high cycling mode shares and require investment to address capacity and safety issues. Others, such Winnipeg, Seville and Sydney, Australia, that have cycling mode shares lower than Vancouver, have committed to dramatically increase cycling in a short period of time.
Seville, the host city for Velo-city 2011, demonstrated the advantages of rapidly building cycling facilities. In four years, they invested $42 million to complete a network of 78 km separated bike lanes throughout the city. In addition, they also installed a 2,500 bicycle bike sharing system. As a result, bicycle mode share increased from 0.2% to 6.6% and cycling trips increased from 2,500 to 70,000 per day. Perhaps more importantly, it is now quite common to see children cycling in the city.[i]
Dutch government expenditure on cycling has now reached an annual level of 487 million euros per year.[ii] Much money is now being spent on improving regional routes, for longer distance commuters, which leads to higher rates of cycling to work.
Munster, Germany (population 270,000) increase cycling trips up from 29% in 1981 to 43% in 1992 with an investment in cycling facilities of $112 million in today’s dollars.
The City of Sydney is investing $71 million over 4 years to build a 200km cycling network including 55km of separated cycleways.[iii] Currently one per cent of trips into the city are made on bicycle – the city aims to increase this number by 10 per cent by 2016.
Portland’s recently approved 20 year bicycle plan contains bicycle paths and other cycling infrastructure that is estimated to cost $613 million. Funding sources are being explored.[iv]
In 2010, Winnipeg invested $20.4 million in capital funding to build an extensive active transportation network throughout the city.[v] The funding came from the three levels of government (the City, Province and Federal governments each contributing one-third, or $6.8 million). This active transportation program involves the creation of 35 projects that range from multi-use pathways to bike boulevards. Almost all of these projects are bicycle routes.
In Minneapolis, over $50 million was spent between 2000 and 2009 contributing to bicycle commute work trips more than doubling from 1.9% in 2000 to 4.3% in 2008.[vi] An additional $18 million is budgeted for bicycle facilities and programs in 2010. This includes federal investment through the Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot (NTP) program. From 2000 to 2009 total bikeway mileage in the city increased from 95.5 miles to 127.8 miles. An average of $2 million per bikeway mile was spent during this period. The 2010 Bicycle Master Plan that aims to increase mode share to 10% by 2020[vii] will require an additional $500 million to complete and an additional $300,000 per year will be needed for maintenance. Non-infrastructure programs including education and promotion will cost $2 million per year to sustain.
Already Copenhagen stands out among other cities for its cycling infrastructure, counting more than 390 kilometres of bike paths. Between 2006 and 2010, it spent DKK 250 million in bike infrastructure and an extra 75 million kroner were allotted for 2011. Within the city, 55 percent of all commuters already travel by bike. Their goal is to hike the percentage of suburban commuters cycling to and from the city from the 37 percent it is today to over 50 percent by 2015.[viii]