The problem with it though is that you come across people who write so much better than you do and articulate your thoughts more eruditely than you could hope to.
Rather than paraphrasing what they say, it is better I think simply to quote them directly.
There are two recent blog posts that are I think required reading for anyone interested in making their city less hostile to people getting around on foot and by bike.
The first is written by David Hembrow (his top ten status shows that many, many people are familiar with his blog). It summarises the history of cycling in the Netherlands and the UK and what made them diverge so far to the point that the UK's modal share for cyclists is as low as the woeful share in Australia. The paragraphs about children using bikes and the provision of parking at supermarkets and railway stations are particularly eye-opening.
The second is on the Vole O'Speed blog. To me, it hits the nail on the head. In short, very few people use bikes for every day transport in places like Australia because it is dangerous. It is true that statistically, and using travel per hour as a measure, it is really not much more dangerous than driving. However, as the author says:
the cyclists on our roads now are an unrepresentative, self-selected group. Measuring their casualty rate per mile does not measure the true danger of cycling, it measures the risks to a group who are peculiarly able to mitigate the risks of cycling in fast motorised traffic though their speed, athleticism, confidence and assertiveness.
That groups consists in the main of men riding sport bikes.
The best quote is this:
It is, simply, objectively dangerous to have metal boxes weighing up to several tons moving at speeds from 20 to 70 mph in the same space as unenclosed human beings.
The logic of that statement is unassailable. If we want to reduce the number of trips made by car (and there are, as we know, many reasons why that is a worthwhile goal), it is first necessary to reduce the danger to which anyone on a bike is exposed. It is not done by helmet laws, educating motorists, pleading with cyclists to obey the road rules to earn respoect, nor any of the many other things that have been tried and failed.
It is done by separating the person from the source of the danger.