Typical scene in Malmö, Sweden – where bicycling makes up about 30% of all trips. Photo credit: Walk Eagle Rock
As an ever-growing sign that the bicycle is having a revival in mainstream transportation, comes the latest trend of bicycle-related studies gaining popularity in academia. With cities striving to become more bicycle friendly and with forecasts of as many as 25% of all trips by the year 2030, it makes sense to study the bicycle as an utilitarian mode of transportation, as it is in other countries.
Over 100 bicycle related academic studies have been published thus far in 2012, including fascinating studies such as, The Health Impacts of Mandatory Helmet Laws– which found that mandatory helmet laws do little to improve safety of cyclists and may have unintended, negative consequences by discouraging cycling. Other interesting, bike related studies have looked at the health benefits of mass street closures (like San Francisco’s ‘Sunday Streets’) relative to their financial cost and the mathematical optimization of bicycle infrastructure. Some universities are collaborating with cities to study innovative bicycle infrastructure while other universities are offering cycling as a minor area of studies.
Read more about the explosive growth of bicycle related studies over at Pacific Standard.