Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Bicycle Commuting for All

Here is a nice piece from the Atlantic Cities about bicycle commuting being for the "common" people. In many ways this is what a site like Copenhagen Cycle Chic should be pushing instead of the endless parade of economically advantaged, beautiful, 20 somethings (nice as they are to look at).   People on bikes are people on bikes, using infrastructure often times lobbied for by the "bicycling advocates" CCC so often rails against.  Excerpt:
...everyone who bikes in New York or any other city has certain things in common. The Type-A strivers on their carbon-fiber steeds; the skinny-jeans-wearing fixie riders; the elevator repairman in work clothes on his anonymous hybrid; the fashionable businesswoman on her folder; the 82-year-old photographer on his cruiser. All of them benefit from an increased recognition that bicycles are a legitimate way to get from one place to another, and that you don’t have to be some kind of a freak to use them. 
That recognition is not merely symbolic. It becomes very tangible in the form of protected bicycle infrastructure, such as the trails cited in the Times article, and in pro-bicycle regulations -- such as the Bicycle Access to Office Buildings Law, instituted in 2009, which requires many office buildings to grant access to bikes. 
All of these factors have combined to double the number of bicycle commuters in New Yorkbetween 2007 and 2011, according to New York City Department of Transportation figures. The DOT aims for 2017 levels to be triple the 2007 numbers. It looks like there’s a good chance of meeting that goal. Most of those new riders won’t be in the Lycra-clad suburbanite demographic (although let’s give those people a round of applause). No, most new riders will be average people on average bikes, maybe not worthy of a feature in the Times, but perhaps more valuable in their very ordinariness.

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