Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bike Commuting News March 10th, 2011

When bicyclists arrive on Capitol Hill today to make their annual funding pitch, their message will be tailored to the tenor of the times.

For example, Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) will learn that his district is home to 51 stores that sell bikes and that those stores grossed more than $20 million in 2009. Bikes, he'll be told, are sold by small-business owners, and those sales create jobs.

And, by the way, if you're looking to develop transportation alternatives in these tight times, bike paths and bike lanes are a whole lot less expensive than new highways and commuter rail lines.

This is a nice bike commuter profile. Keith Moore commutes to his job in the city using a combination of public transport and his own pedal power. What he rarely uses is his car to get into downtown Seattle. Cycling is not just a means of transportation for Moore, it’s also his passion.

There’s no further room for roads in Manhattan or its environs, but given the city’s comfort with tall buildings, there is room for more people. If each and every one of them decides to buy a car, as Cassidy has, the streets will become essentially impassable. The question, for drivers, is one of survival: How do you persuade the maximum number of New Yorkers not to drive?

The answer seems obvious: You give them other options. Bike lanes are one such option.

UC Davis two-wheeled its way to a gold award in the League of American Bicyclists’ first-ever listing of bicycle-friendly universities. Only Stanford scored better, receiving a platinum.

Thirty-two universities and colleges applied for bicycle-friendly status, and 20 qualified, with the league awarding one platinum, two golds (UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara), nine silvers (including UC Irvine) and eight bronzes (including UCLA).

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