Monday, May 19, 2014

AMERICA - Biking to Work

"Statistics reveal how America bikes to work" PBS NewsHour 5/18/2014

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  There’s some new data out on how we get to work and what that may say about us.

This past Friday was Bike to Work Day, but chances are you did not participate – only point six percent of Americans commute to work by bike.

I am occasionally, one of them.  On some days I ride to work over the 59th Street Bridge.

The number of us that pedal to work is up 60% over the past decade.  That’s according a new report from the Census Bureau.  But it also finds something else interesting about those who have to ride to work, versus those of us who can choose to.

Turns out, the poorest and the richest; least educated and most educated are the most likely to ride to work.  As the Washington Post put it, “alternatives to driving in the United States are both a luxury for the well-off and a last resort for the poor.”

Here in New York – where dramatically fewer people drive to work than in the rest of the country – I ride my bike as an alternative to the subway.  In the past few years the city has installed hundreds of miles of bike lanes and launched a new bike share program.

PAUL STEELY WHITE:  We’ve seen double-digit growth in bicycling each year for the last several years in New York.

Paul Steely White is the executive director of transportation alternatives, a New York cycling and pedestrian advocacy organization.  On bike-to-work day they handed out coffee and snacks to cyclists making the trip in.

White says the census data only tells part of the story.

PAUL STEELY WHITE:  The Census only captures work trips.  So it’s not counting errands, or recreation, or other kinds of bike trips.  And it doesn’t count trips that people take to the train, or to the bus.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Every kind of person.  On every kind of bike.  Doing every sort of thing.  Even a quick promo for the NewsHour.

One promise, I won’t be doing the show anytime soon in my bike clothes.

America’s Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities Bicycling Magazine


Best Cities

There are many important things a city can do to gain our consideration for this list: segregated bike lanes, municipal bike racks and bike boulevards, to name a few.  If you have those things in your town, cyclists probably have the ear of the local government—another key factor.  To make our Top 50, a city must also support a vibrant and diverse bike culture, and it must have smart, savvy bike shops.  If your town isn’t named below, use this as an opportunity to do something about it.  Already on the list?  Go out and enjoy a ride.  (Note:  We considered only cities with populations of 100,000 or more, and we strove for geographical diversity to avoid having a list dominated by California’s many bike-oriented cities.)

The article includes a US map and details of each city.

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