The City of Palo Alto is not far from San Francisco, in Silicon Valley. It is a university and hi tech town, with lots of cycling and cyclists. There are a number of factors that make it attractive to cycle: short-ish distances, a dappled shade on the streets from the overhead tree canopy [to be contrasted in a few posts with the San Jose non-canopy], and their bike boulevards.
Bike boulevards or neighborhood greenways are rather different from Ottawa designated bike routes. In Ottawa, the green sign goes up, and most of the time, nothing else changes. It’s merely a recommended route. As a result they are often frustrating to cyclists and don’t get much bang for the few bucks spent.
Palo Alto has got a 7% modal share for trips to work by a number of simple measures that create bike boulevards. And they are cheap! They expand their network of boulevards at a grand cost of merely $1 million per year. Although, to be fair, there are a number of more expensive “missing links” like bridges and underpasses, that are on the horizon now that much of the low hanging fruit has been picked and cyclists are looking for completion of the network.