The joy of a house in the suburbs can be short-lived should public transport and cycling infrastructure be lacking. The financial and health costs of car dependence and long commute times can push a household to the edge. Urban sprawl can entrench disadvantage.
Businesses are accustomed to calculating the lifetime cost of ownership of a motor vehicle. This is something we rarely do in our private lives. An inexpensive new car with an on-road purchase price below $20,000 will cost easily $4000 per annum when all costs are considered. For that price, a family could have a number of very nice bikes. Bikes have a lifetime cost as well and here is one example.