Kasey Klimes wrote an article posted at This Big City entitled The Real Reason Why Bicycles are the Key to Better Cities, in which he expounds on how bicycles allow riders to experience their surroundings in ways that drivers can’t. This new experience, he argues, is invaluable to helping people understand urbanism.
We all know the talking points. The benefits of bicycles have been tirelessly elaborated upon; bicycles improve health, ease congestion, save money, use less space, and provide efficient transportation with zero fuel consumption and zero carbon emissions. All of this is great, and the culmination of a population on two wheels can have a drastic impact on the overall wellbeing of a city.
However, none of these come close to the most meaningful aspect of cycling, a factor that cannot be quantified but has endless value to those fighting to improve their communities.
The most vital element for the future of our cities is that the bicycle is an instrument of experiential understanding.
I tend to agree, although romantic arguments like this are of little value to me professionally as an engineer.