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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why Not Bicycle to Work?


The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) publishes a blog called Greenversations. On May 12, 2008 they posted the following "Question of the Week: Why are you or aren’t you biking to work?"

Within four weeks they had 799 answers to the question! 345 people wrote that they did bike to work (of course, they would read and respond to such a blog post) and 359 wrote that they didn't pedal to work.

What is interesting is the reason WHY people don't pedal. As bicycle advocates we can learn something from this.

Of course, many people live too far to pedal (or they think that they do), others have to take the kids to school or have no showers or place to change. But a good third of the folks (120) say they don't ride because it is "too dangerous."

Indeed, Bob wrote the following in this respect:

"The Safe Routes to School program is brilliant. We need a Safe Routes to Work program. And a Safe Routes to Just About Everywhere Else program. Its sad that people are detered from biking because they feel like they’re going to be run over by a car (yes, even Priuses can hurt). Understandably, there are many people that lack confidence on bikes. City riding is not easy. Suburban riding can be even worse. We need to throw money (buckets of it) into viable, SAFE routes around cities and towns. Also, its all about connections. The routes actually need to go somewhere. I’ve been on too many trails that suddenly end in a busy intersection/narrow bridge/highway on-ramp/etc. You can have a beautiful trail for 10 miles, but if for a 100 feet bikers feel endangered, most people won’t even bother."

A League of American Bicyclists Traffic Skills 101 class or Commuter Skills Class is just what those folks need. And at the risk of oversimplifying the issue (maybe that last 100 feet really is bad) then your local advocacy group should take that problem up and get it fixed (of course, bicyclists easily become pedestrians and can walk their bike, also!)

So let's get a Safe Routes to Work Commuter Skills class going in Fort Collins. We have many League Cycling Instructors in town who could teach such a class and even offer individualized instruction, accompanying commuters on their route to demonstrate exactly how to handle uncomfortable intersections.

If your business is interested in such a class for bicycle commuters contact the Fort Collins Bike Co-op today!

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