Here’s one for your required reading stack: The Benefits of Bicycling (pdf), a new report from Cascade Bicycle Club. It’s an enjoyable eleven pages on the ways that bicycling helps address climate change, even while it saves money and boosts our health.
The paper doesn’t contain new primary research, but it’s a nicely readable summary of the best thinking in favor of two-wheeled transport. (Plus, it’s chock full of charts and data that prove the point.) From the introduction:
We need to embrace new technology but also look past it to plan for a reduction in the number of miles we drive… A successful response to global warming will involve the cultivation of compact neighborhoods and an empowerment of residents to choose transportation modes beyond the private automobile.
Fortunately, there is a readily-available transportation mode that is well suited to the compact neighborhoods of the future. It is affordable and takes up little space. It addresses all three “legs” of the [transportation emissions] “stool,” emitting no pollution whatsoever and cutting driving rates. Parking is a breeze.
It is the bicycle.
Take a look. Lead author is Patrick McGrath.
I hope I’m the only one whose sense of humour is so thoroughly questionable that I appreciate your juxtaposition of “transportation emissions” and “stool.”
Just a thought after checking out a Streetfilms video on Copenhagen: Seattle will NEVER be a bicycle city. Why? Too many hills. Well ok, not never but I think when we discuss biking we need to address this issue. I think a key here could be streetcars (or Counterbalances) if we set up super-bike-friendly counterbalances on many of seattle’s hills, for cheap, I think THEN we could really start to look at Biking as a major form of transportation.
Matt the Engineer
Josh: One solution (mentioned here a while back) would be installing Trampes at hills.They wouldn’t cost much, and could transform our city from a bike-for-exercise city to a bike-for-transportation city. I often bike to work in business attire (QA–>downtown), but have to bring exercise clothes with me and go to a gym to change after work for the ride home. This would go away if there were a Trampe on my return path, and I definatly would commute this way more often.