<img width="160" height="111" align="left" src="http://www.baltimorespokes.org/images/articles/20061003153116446_1.jpg" alt="">Early in the 20th century, bicycling to do errands or to work was common in the United States, and seeing bikes on racks on the back of streetcars was not unusual. Commuters often used a combination of walking, cycling and taking mass transit. Even in the 1940s, bicycling was still a major means of transportation for not-too-distant trips.
But that began to change in the 1950s and 60s, when car use rapidly accelerated, fueled by the building of the high-speed Interstate highway system, heavily subsidized through federal funding. Ultimately crisscrossing over 40,000 miles, the new freeways chiseled through cities and towns, sometimes splitting neighborhoods in two, and created new pathways for development and sprawl far away from urban centers.
Bicycling and walking increasingly took a back seat to driving or riding in cars. By 1990, the Federal Highway Administration called bicycling and walking "the forgotten modes" of transportation.