Green building certification instruments, take no real account of associated energy used bringing people to and from buildings. Buildings that are out of reach of bike paths or public transport, still get their LEED certification if they are in the US, or their 6-Green-Stars if they are in Australia, and very few thinking observer (perhaps only the cyclists) ever object. Consequently, the provision of meagre, uninviting, and non-functional bicycle parking, for a mere slither of those buildings’ users, is sufficient to earn all the LEED or Green-Star points a building can possibly earn. There’s no incentive to do more than the bare minimum.
Addiction breeds blind spots. Look at addicts of any sort. Ours is a society that is addicted to cars. Blind spots aren’t even worth pointing out.
So if ever bike-friendliness is to be mandated in building codes, in a meaningful way, I don’t think it will be as an attack upon car use, for the sake of the planet. If any argument is likely to get a hearing, it is the one that says cycling saves lives, and lessens the burden on hospitals. Minimum height ceilings, measures to control dampness, access to daylight and air: all these were forced into building codes as part of a long and strong tradition of tightening standards, for the betterment of our health and longevity. Somewhere, someday, the case might be made that cycling extends life, as surely as coving tiles in commercial kitchens. Buildings codes covering those, aren’t geared at making cleaning possible, for cleaning zealots. Commercial kitchens must be designed to encourage cleaning. Building codes designed to encourage people to cycle, and not just make cycling theoretically possible, for the bike zealot, would be good for national health. Such buildings would lessen the burden that sedentary lifestyles place on our hospitals, in precisely the same way that building laws applying to kitchens in restaurants, prevent millions of people being treated each year with food poisoning.