On the rationale that the car makes cycling on city streets dangerous, cities have been spending big-time on bike lanes and other bicycle programs. The results from Europe, where cycling has been most heavily promoted, are now coming in. Prior to putting bicycle planning into high gear — in recent years London’s mayor launched what he called a “cycling revolution” and Paris’s vowed to create “the cycling capital of the world” — cycling deaths had been plummeting for decades. That dramatic trend stopped in 2010, according to EU statistics. Cycling deaths across the EU are now on the rise.
Cyclists in the EU now account for eight per cent of all traffic fatalities, up one-third in the last decade. In the urban areas, cyclists account for 12 per cent of all road fatalities. In the Netherlands, a great cycling nation that politicians often hold up as a model, cyclists account for 30 per cent of fatalities. The bicycle, where it is most in vogue, is a killing machine: fatalities are five to 10 times that of automobiles per kilometre travelled.
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