Bike to work for health and environmental benefits!
Increasing bicycling in the United States may be an important strategy for mitigating the harmful effects of automobile reliance on individual health as well as the environment. But currently, bicycling in the United States accounts for less than 1% of commuter mode share.
What gives? Limitations to American commuter biking include safer routes, more attractive routes, and better education (for both auto users and cyclists).
As more cities are throwing Bike-to-Work days, a new study analyzes the information gleaned from the events, which the authors argue is important even if partipants don’t bike to work again. Kevin Krizek, a professor in CU-Boulder’s Program in Environmental Design, and co-author of the study, says that people from all walks of life are coming to bike-to-work events. “If cities know why people want to get out on their bikes, they can do a better job of building on that information,” he says. “Better yet, if cities know what’s impeding people from cycling, they can mitigate those obstacles by intervening with new policies.”
As the DailyHap staff (Lyssa, pictured) and contributors are avid bike commuters, we can definitely second some of these notions: commuting would be much easier and safer with better city policies. But, we’re too fond of the health and happiness benefits—the clear mind arriving at work is worth the hassle alone—to let dodging parked cars stop us!