Noticed more people biking to work lately? Started biking to work yourself?
If you live in Washington D.C., Minneapolis, Chicago or San Francisco, and no doubt many other cities in the United States and around the world, you may have noticed quite a few more people bike commuting. There seems to be a bit of a cycling boom going on; that’s according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. They have identified a rise in bike commuting in nine major U.S. cities.
Another American Community Survey carried out yearly by the Census Bureau also found that the overall numbers of people bike commuting is growing steadily nationwide, albeit not at an astonishing pace. However, the growth in bike commuting in the 70 largest cites between 2005 and 2009 was found to be 35 percent! (537KB pdf download link).
If you live in Kansas City, Missouri, Indianapolis or New Orleans, take a bow (or do a wheelie), you top the charts in terms of increases in bike commuting numbers. All had well over a 100 percent increase between 2005 and 2009.
It’s great news that biking to work seems to be becoming more of a thing to do. It’s certainly more possible in some cities than others, but people seem to be rediscovering the benefits of biking. If you don’t know what I mean when I say it’s more possible in some cities, check out this post over at TreeHugger. It’s about a group of citizens in Guadalajara Mexico resorting to guerilla-style, do it yourself bike lanes.
One of the key benefits is of course that it’s a great way to sneak in a bit of fun exercise during your daily routine, when so many of us city dwellers sit at desks in front of computers for so many hours of the day; not to mention riding in elevators instead of using stairs. U.S. cities with higher rates of walking and cycling to work have lower obesity and diabetes rates, compared with other U.S. cities. Seems to makes sense, doesn’t it?
Admittedly, there can be a few barriers sometimes, like in cities where weather is not fine a reasonable percentage of the time, and in places where it’s very warm and humid. It’s not altogether pleasant (for anyone) to be turning up at work all sweaty, and then have to work the whole day without taking a shower. No doubt quite a few workplaces are installing showers, or are thinking about installing showers to cater for the rising number of workers biking to work.
It’s all good news in terms of a more sustainable world and life, but what do you believe accounts for the rise in bike commuting numbers?
Image CC licensed by Richard Masoner