In the city of Cambridge, UK, just about one hour's train ride north of London, you'll find lots of people bicycling. In fact the official mode share is 22%, but advocates believe it's even higher and some say bicycling could make up to 50% of all trips in the city's center. What the most amazing thing about this accomplishment is it's been done without lots of fancy bike infrastructure and ubiquotous protected bike lanes.
Instead, Cambridge has reached that number thanks to the implementation of strategies to manage it's traffic. For one, it's cordoned off the city's center with a series of rising bollards that only lower for buses, taxis and some service vehicles. The private car is not allowed downtown but bikes and pedestrians are free to enter at any time - which creates an environment of safety and makes the bike the fastest mode of transportation by far!
Cambridge has done much work in their neighborhoods with what they call "filtered permeability" - taking some junctions and intersections and placing up physical barriers that force cars to take a longer route while allowing other modes to filer thru. This is important since it eliminates cars using residential areas for short cuts and encourages using a bike. Of course, this strategy has been used under various names for a long time throughout the best cycling cities like Groningen, Copenhagen & Amsterdam, and even here in the U.S. in places like Portland and Berkeley.
It is also the home to numerous universities where students are not allowed to own vehicles, so there is the constant buzz of people getting about by bike, walking and transit.
Recently, the city has also adopted 20 mph for most of its roadways and has begun implementation in earnest in order to slow down the pace of the city in the hopes to get even more people to try cycling. Cambridge is growing and some fear the've reached a plateau in the number of people that will ride a bike, so a new push is on to get the city to install much more robust protected cycle tracks in targeted areas where cycling feels less safe.
For more teasers and bonus footage, see the below posting: