For over a decade, I've been encouraging transit agencies to be clear about how they balance the contradictory goals of ridership (as many customers as possible for the fixed operating budget) or coverage (some transit service everywhere, responding to needs rather than to demand). I lay out the tradeoff in the opening part of this explainer.
Michael Anderson, the editor of the excellent blog Bike Portland, has a very thoughtful article exploring how, and whether, this paradigm applies to cycling infrastructure. Disclosure: It would be fascinating even if they hadn't interviewed Michelle Poyourow, a bike-and-transit planner who's also a Senior Associate at our firm. (Did you know, btw, that we're hiring?)
Really, if you care about cycling, read Michael's piece. It's a great piece of writing, one that I'm still thinking about.