Skip to content

Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Urban Planet: Can bike-share programs overcome the helmet hurdle?

Read more articles by

Bike-share programs have really been taking off in North America over the past few years, but not in municipalities with strict helmet laws.

This article takes a look at the pros and cons of helmet wearing and how it affects participation in bike-share programs.

And here, this NY Times article speaks to the bottom line: “To Encourage Biking, Cities Lose the Helmets.”

Urban Planet is a roundup of blogs from around the world dealing specifically with urban environments. We’ll be on the lookout for websites outside the country that approach themes related to urban experiences and issues.

For more stories from around the planet, check out Spacing on Facebook and Twitter. Do you have an Urban Planet worthy article you’d like to share? Send the link to



  1. Careful re ‘pros and cons of helmet wearing and how it affects participation in bike-share programs’.

    Helmet-wearing isn’t the issue: fines for the helmetless are. Big difference. Let people choose.

    Best example: the UK is a fairly nanny-statey protect-the-children helmets-always country, but not quite as far as fining the hat-free. Boris’ bikes are a success.

  2. Does it HAVE to be an either/or?
    We tell people who are in cars to wear seatbelts. We say people working on construction sites have to wear hard hats and work boots. We tell people who are going into the mountains to bring transponders and other avalanche gear. So what’s the big deal about wearing a helmet to protect your head.

  3. Roxanne, is riding your bike really as dangerous as wandering along cliffs in the mountains or working on a construction site with metal swinging overhead? If I had ever thought it was, I would never have gotten on one… when I was 5.