Cycling Needs to Play Part In A National Energy Strategy

Submitted by Kevin Cronin on Sat, 06/03/2006 - 22:15.

 

While Congress debates energy and gas saving strategies, they should consider one to help North East Ohio residents adopt personal energy and cost saving strategies, by reducing fuel demand,  traffic congestion and promoting improved health.  Congress can help America get out of their car and onto a bike.  Cycling can be an important component in a national energy strategy.   
Polls identify that more than half of Americans want to bicycle more and drive less, yet transportation officials have not translated the public goals to public facilities. Congress should take steps to increases safety for cyclists on the road: As more bike lanes and facilities are constructed, facilities that are already required, but ignored, on federally funded transportation projects, car drivers will be more likely to recognize and acknowledge cyclists on the road, which is the most significant step to improve road safety.  
Reducing Transportation Costs Eases the Household Budget: Even before runaway gas prices, the average American spends 19% of their income on transportation, with households that heavily rely on cars for transportation spending 50% or more. AAA reports that a typical car commuter spends more than $6,860/year. 
Creating the cycling infrastructure, encourages cycling, generating the desired health, transportation and environmental benefits.  Whether New York City (expanded bike trails in 2003 on Manhattan's West Side, as well as bike paths on bridges contributed to a 50% increase in cyclists since 2000, to 120,000 cyclists a day), Louisville (bike racks on buses contributed to a nearly doubling of bikes on buses to 91,000 between 2002- 2005 period) or Chicago (the Chicago bike station, a city-constructed facility has 500 members, paying for showers, towel service and a personal locker), studies show that as cities increase their support for cyclists, cycling increases, with all the energy, health, traffic congestion reductions and environmental benefits that go with it.  
As Congress debates what to do about gas prices, they should support cycling, which helps individuals who are doing something for energy independence on their own, and getting some exercise along the way, by simply riding a bike and driving less.  

When ClevelandBikes,Cleveland Benefits! 
   

To join the Bike to Work rides, log onto www.clevelandBikes.org.
Contact ClevelandBikes: info [at] clevelandbikes [dot] org
Phone, or to report a street pothole problem: (216)556-BIKE (556-2453)
 

AttachmentSize
CroninAJRoccos.JPG97.91 KB
CroninAJRoccos650.JPG60.67 KB

Cycling barely part of our infrastructure or culture

In Europe it seems bicycles were a natural progression from the horse drawn infrastructure  and very much part of the culture from the urban core outward, at all time - complimented with rail transit as that came along, people got/get around en mass well. Same path in other long civilized nations, like China and Japan, which were dealing with density and mass transit issues before "Americans" had even found the West Coast, at which point the national focus was on distance mass transit - long distance - and blast furnacing steel and pumping oil promoting consumption and combustion - and we never built bicycles into any of this, other than what kids ride on the sidewalks and to jump ramps and such until they are 16 and can have a car. We have a miniscule bicycle culture here - no infrastructure - not even Lance Armstrong can change that. Only high oil prices will make a difference.

In the mean time, bicyclists must struggle to survive on poor quality roads, without respect or bike lanes, and hope that future economic trends increase social consiousness in America toward true cultural transformation, away from hydrocarbons and sprawl and huge ecological footprints in general. Bikes have tiny ecological footprints (What's your ecological footprint?).

I suggest those who care about such things should help drive more support for ride to work commuters among area businesses and government - organize incentives to attract cyclists to ride in more purposeful ways - I talked to Brenden at A.J. Rocco's and he'll do something for bicycle commuters... what other urban core organizations and businesses want to join in? Discounts on rent - free food - other appreciation for saving the environment... this isn't about getting weekend-peddlers to drive SUVs 60 miles to ride 3 miles in the metroparks, which is bad for the environment, but about getting people to change their lifestyles to bilke commute and live smart for life.

Trending NOW - Bike Cleveland

Bike Cleveland Annual Meeting - http://www.bikecleveland.org/2013/12/26/annual-members-meeting/ -

Good turn out on a cold CLE day - with over 250 cycle advocates at the Beachland Ballroom.  

 Above Sustainability Chief Jenita McGowan spoke about the City's commitment-

 

After the presentation - I spoke on the advantages inherent in developing the east-west connection via Harvard Denison.  

Good news (thanks to effort by Bike Cleveland) - Denison will have unique bike provisions -to be completed in 2014-2015.  The design has advantages for safety and FAMILY use as described from Jacob VanSickle:

Denison Avenue between SR176 and Ridge Road is going to have underground utility upgrades, and as a result will be resurfaced this year.  

We have heard that the new striping plan for Denison Avenue includes bike lanes. This is our opportunity, by attending the public meeting, to support safer streets for people on bikes by supporting bike lanes on the repaved Denison Avenue.  Below are some reason’s why bike lanes on Denison Ave are important:

1. The 2012 NOACA traffic count show that there are only 8,000 cars per day on Denison between W. 33rd and W. 73rd. This means Denison has enough width to narrow the travel lanes and add bike lanes (known as a “road-diet.”)

2. At the public meeting that took place February 5th, 2013 there was strong community support for traffic calming and bike lanes on Denison Avenue.

3. Denison Avenue makes direct connections to the Fulton Road bike lanes and the future W. 65th bike facility. This would fill a gap in the bikeway network and create a series of connected bike lanes.

 Here are photos from last year's event at Mahalls - http://realneo.us/content/bike-cleveland-annual-meeting-127-mahalls-lanes

 Also announced today - the effort to host a FONDO in NEO  - funded by Forest City.  What's a fondo? 

http://www.bicycling.com/news/featured-stories/lets-get-ready-fondo