Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bikes Can Fill In Transit Gaps

It's terrible to hear about the poor state that public transit systems all over the country find themselves in, especially now that commuters need them more than ever. How expensive would it be for cities and suburbs to put in more bike lanes, particularly along routes that are going to see cuts in service? Perhaps that could mitigate some of the missing links in the chain of public transit. That professor might not buy another car if he felt that he could safely ride eight miles or so to the train station. The same goes for the student commuter at the end of the piece. I can see how he might not look forward to a bike ride at the end of a long day of work and classes, but he might change his mind after a revitalizing bike ride in safe bike lane. As for the rain, I thought it never rains in southern California.


spiderlegreen said...

Tough times. How can we get people out of their cars and on a bus or bike? They need to start making budget choices that move in that direction. Thanks for posting this.

The Bronze Bombshell said...

You're welcome. We can only hope that people begin to see commuter cycling for the healthy, eco-friendly, thrifty option that it is.

anna said...

Thanks for sharing this video, it's so interesting to me! I'm from Central Europe and actually have never been to the US, so I can't say much about what goes wrong there. But from what I can see, the main things that cause all these transportation problems are the suburbs and other low-density areas. Bad spatial planning increases commutes massively, and after all people only want to spend a certain amount of time traveling (that hasn't changed over the past hundreds of year - just the mode of transport and the distances have).

By the way, Switzerland has one of the densest public transport networks in the world - and also a very efficient one. They don't spend much money on huge highways though, probably one of their secrets ;-).

And rain? Cycling in rain is not a problem at all. That guy probably never even tried to cycle in rain or snow. It's one of those common prejudices that one can't cycle in rain. I hate it when people come up with such excuses.

I quite like your attitude though. I hope you can convince many people.

Although, as spiderlegreen says, I think budget choices are not gonna do the trick (only for intelligent people). People love their cars, and they don't mind paying for it. But it's the quality of public transport and biking that have to attract them. There are so many commercials for cars out there (with empty roads of course, not traffic jams) and there are none for public transport and bikes. I think that's what's missing.

The Bronze Bombshell said...

I think you're onto something, Anna. I think ridership on public transit systems and bike commuting would benefit greatly from an advertising campaign. It would be great if the Ad Council would get on that. At the moment, cycling seems to be getting its greatest endorsement from fashion designers who make their own branded bikes; you rarely see bikes in the media otherwise.

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