Published on September 13th, 2012 | by Cynthia Shahan5
Bicycling Renaissance Underway in U.S.
September 13th, 2012 by Cynthia Shahan
Jumping on bikes, gliding down streets, lobbying for more paths — more Americans are cruising bike paths, streets, and roads on two wheels. Between 1977 and 2009, the total number of annual bike trips more than tripled in the US. Meanwhile, bicycling’s percentage of all trips rose from 0.6% to 1% in that time period. Twice as many people are biking to work in 2009 as in 2000. What of 2012? Where are we now?
Revival and Celebration of Freedom in Travel
Bicycling continues to grow, in the spirit of a magnetic revival and celebration of freedom in travel, with Copenhagen as a mentor. There is more need for growth and change. However, a lot of local support is presently shifting urban transit patterns. Chicago’s effort to appeal to young professionals in open-air transit is one positive example: Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to make Chicago “the bike friendliest city in the country“. There is also the Boston bike-share program, DC biking programs, NYC’s huge bike-sharing program and growth in bicycling, and the East Coast Greenway running the eastern seaboard north to south.
It is time for this bike renaissance, and even though we have more to do, we do not lack inspiration. “From coast to coast, cities across the United States are experiencing a rise in bicycling. Local governments are leading the peloton, with cycle-friendly policies and increases in government funding spurring a municipal pedal pursuit,” Planetizen writes.
For all of us contemplating biking in cities around the world, it is good to understand the subtle even esoteric link to natural time and catch up with Rio, Sao Paolo, as well as Copenhagen, of course. As one gentleman from the Netherlands has pointed out to me, “we have a peace beyond cars.” He quietly explains: “Time, we have time in this part of the world.”