They so often see cyclists as invading on their territory. Since bikes are so much slower they assume that they don’t belong. However there are many efforts to reeducate motorists and smooth how the different modes of transportation integrate.
In England many people, including those in the government, are working to improve funding for bike infrastructure. One of the main challenges though is to figure out what equals fair investment in bikes vs. cars.
The road needs are very different. Bikes cause considerably less wear-and-tear on roads, so building separated lanes is cheaper if there’s room. If there isn’t the cost can go up.
Then there are sheer numbers. There are currently more cars than bikes, but some projections state that will change over then few decades.
One continually repeated argument against bikes by cars is that it’s so much easier to commute in cars. This might be true in cities with lots of parking, but here in San Francisco that just isn’t true.
This argument has been tested multiple times. Most famously on the TV show Top Gear. Twice they held races across major cities, London and St. Petersburg, pitting different modes of transit against each other. In London the bike won. It would have won in Russia as well had Richard been more careful around the trolley tracks.
Recently a similar race was tried in Santa Monica. Again the bike was the winner, and again, the car had trouble finding parking. The bus was last.
This is good news but the balance hasn’t been met yet. Until it does you have to be careful out there. The Dallas News recently posted a nice guide to cyclist survival. It focuses on Dallas but has lots of good general advice.