Vancouver has made a serious commitment to providing bike-friendly streets.
While Minneapolis has been spending some money on paint, Vancouver has
putting in physical barriers between cars and cyclists. Once in place, they
make the former driving lane a 2 way bike lane.
The barriers provide both perceived and true safety for cyclists. A family
could bike through the downtown of a major city without worrying about
whether a driver will ignore a white stripe on the pavement.
Additionally, Vancouver has added bike signals to the traffic signals that
appear to be designed to get cyclists through intersections before cars are
given the green light. This seems like a good way to prevent cyclists from
getting hit by turning drivers.
It all seems very civil. It seems logical to assume that more people would
be willing to commute to downtown Minneapolis, or use bikes to visit
downtown, if they felt comfortable on their bikes downtown.
Granted, Vancouver doesn’t have to biking superhighways that Minneapolis
has. But, they do seem to provide far superior on-street infrastructure for
the critical last half mile if commutes through the most congested parts of