openhagen is the hands-down bicycling capital of the world. Increased support of having the population cycle instead of drive, the cycling population saves $261 million in public health savings every year. This is enough to pay for the $15C0 million in infrastructure improvements to allow for cycling and pedestrian safety and facilities in less than 5 years. They report 62% of residents commute by cycling every day, and only a mere 9% drive. Each year, the cycling community has eliminated over 90,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year simply by choosing to not commute to work or school in a car.
htmlNot surprisingly, in a list of the top 20 best cycling cities reported by the Copenhagenize Bicycle Friendly Cities Index 2017, not a single one was from the U.S. https://www.wired.com/story/world-best-cycling-cities-copenhagenize/In fact, the statistics show that the U.S. is a country that loves their cars.
The U.S. Census Bureau released statistics in September 2017 that a whopping 76.
3% of Americans are single-car occupants, meaning there are 115 million cars, with only one person in them, traveling to work. Only 9% of those surveyed carpool. Only 2.
7% walk to work and a mere .6% cycle. This behavior is responsible for transportation being the second highest cause of our greenhouse gas production, second only to industry. https://www.
epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissionsSo what would it take to get the average American to pedal to work? Better infrastructure was the number one way to get more bikes on the road. Over 54% of those surveyed said they were afraid of getting hit by a car or bicycle, but 46% said they would consider a bike commute if there was some form of physical barrier that separated from speeding cars.
https://momentummag.com/biking-work-barrier-americans/Biking to work also seems almost anti-American Dream. Cars are a status symbol in the U.
S., and arriving hot and sweaty to work somehow seems wrong to our culture. From problems like the lack of shower facilities at work to where to park your bike once you arrive have also arisen for those attempting the bicycle commute. Offering tax perks to businesses promoting corporate cultures conducive to the non-traditional commute is a certain start.Currently, Portland, Oregon is the bicycle commuting capital of the U.
S. With 7% of residents pedaling to work, they still have a very long way to go to beat Copenhagen’s numbers. What makes Portland the best large city to commute by bike? With designated bike lanes, many of them separated by cars with barriers, bike-specific traffic signals that improve safety and function and installation of public bike racks are just a few improvements other cities can implement to boost their bike commute stats. https://www.
portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/407660If we can make cycling to work a safe, viable option, more people will use it. However, cities are unwilling to earmark money for infrastructure improvements if they think they will not be used by the community. If you have interest, joining your local cycling organization is a great way to put a voice to the movement to help get more bikes on the road, two tires at a time.