"Statistically, if we wear helmets for cycling, maybe we should wear helmets when we climb ladders or get into a bath, because there are lots more injuries during those activities."Why don't the pedestrians wear helmets? Apparently, per mile traveled, they're as likely to take a blow to the head as a cyclist.
Anyway, the problem is that there are these great bike-sharing systems, like we have here in Madison with B-Cycle. You pay a daily or annual fee to access the system, and then you can get a bike out of a station on one city corner, bike somewhere you want to go downtown, and just stick the thing into another station, where it's automatically locked in.
It's very quick and easy, especially if they have a lot of stations near places you like to go. But the ease is ruined if you need a helmet. So all these efforts all these years to get people to feel they must have a helmet are at odds with the new bike-share agenda. When the overeager agendas of environmentalism and safety collide, somebody's going to get hurt.
The linked NYT article is attempting to dictate the winner: environmentalism (i.e., bike sharing systems and the no-helmet approach). Amusingly, the main argument is: Europe! In Europe!, you won't hear any fretting about helmets.