Looking for ways to help celebrate Earth Week 2011? Knocking the rust off your old, trusty bike or renting one locally is a great way to get to work or just around town.
I’ve been biking to work for several months now and the benefits are many: skipping traffic as you cruise by cars in your dedicated bike lane, saving gas money, getting exercise twice a day on the way to and from the office, and lowering your carbon footprint. If you’re concerned with potential safety risks of biking, particularly in crowded cities, changes are on the way.
The bicycle movement is growing exponentially across the country as part of “Complete Streets” legislation. Over 200 jurisdictions across the United States from Seattle to New York have now adopted this legislation, 100 cities in the last 14 months alone. A “complete street” enables safe access for all users, regardless of age, ability, or mode of transportation, and promotes movement, community, and ecology. Through the use of design elements like priority lanes for public transit vehicles, transit shelters and benches, bike lanes, well-marked cross walks, and traffic-calming elements like narrowed lanes and roundabouts, Seattle has been able to reduce pedestrian collisions by 80% and increase bicycle traffic by 35%.