In his entertaining and enlightening presentation, Dr. Pucher makes many convincing arguments for the benefits of bicycling and illustrates many successful bicycling improvements developed in the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark. Surprising to some of us who believed that the Dutch have always been bicyclists, Pucher indicates that all three nations actually had a decline in bicycling activity following World War II. The increased bicycling mode share has been the result of radical policy shifts in the past 40 years to deliberately encourage cycling.
The key point Dr. Pucher makes repeatedly is that bicycle advocates must promote facilities that make bicycling possible for everyone --male and female, old and young, rich and poor. Dr. Pucher also indicates that bicycling enhancement is only part (carrot) of a comprehensive strategy; restrictions on vehicular privileges, access, and priority (stick) are equally necessary. He acknowledges that Europe's higher gas prices also enhance the relative appeal of bicycling for transportation.
And while he shares some examples of educational and promotional campaigns in the three countries, his primary emphasis is on the infrastructural changes these societies developed to foster bicycling-friendly communities. Not simply bike lanes, but separated paths, bike parking facilities (one example has a bike wash!), car-free zones, bike boulevards, traffic calming, intermodal transit access, bike-priority signals, bike boxes, and route networks.